Banks Seek to Ease Tensions with CFPB

Big U.S. Banks are working to ease tensions with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new federal consumer regulator whose approach to policing the financial sector has sparked criticism within the industry.  In recent months, top compliance executives from more than 20 banks have met privately with senior officials from the CFPB to share their concerns.  According to people familiar with the talks, one of these concerns was that companies were not getting proper credit for cooperating with investigators. Recently, the CFPB published “responsible business conduct” guidelines which purport to give the industry some relief by detailing how financial firms which cooperate with the agency’s investigations will receive smaller penalties.  A few days later, the CFPB did not fine the U.S. Bancorp in an auto-lending settlement   thus rewarding the cooperation of the bank.  The question arises: why do banks get this special treatment and not debt collectors or credit reporting agencies?