by Richard E. Gottlieb
and Jeffrey E.
For the second time in eight months, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce has called for the CFPB to take action to "eliminate the uncertainty
and lack of clarity that continues to cloud the Bureau's activity and therefore
imposes significant costs on the huge number of businesses subject to the Bureau's
jurisdiction." In a February 14, 2013 letter, David Hirschmann, the Chamber's senior vice president,
addressed the Bureau's supervision and regulatory processes. Hirschmann warned
that "continued uncertainty and inefficiency [in those processes] is not simply
to impose excessive, unjustified costs on legitimate businesses seeking to
comply with the law-it directly constrains the lending, especially lending to
small businesses that our economy desperately needs in order to grow and create
jobs for the millions of Americans who remain unemployed."
In its first letter dated July 2, 2103, the Chamber offered a dozen suggestions
for improving the CFPB's supervision and regulatory processes, which
suggestions the Chamber claims were virtually ignored. In its February 14, 2013
letter, the Chamber renewed its call for improvements in connection with its
supervision and investigatory processes and "suggests several additional steps
that the Bureau could take to eliminate inefficiency and unjustified burdens in
connection with its supervision and investigatory processes." The This time
around the Chamber claims that it based its suggestions on the actual
experiences of "numerous individual businesses."
The Chamber asks the CFPB to do the following:
Of the list, the most controversial will be those tied to
the use of supervision as a substitute for regulation, and the attendance of
enforcement attorneys during exams. Many industry groups have expressed
concern about both these approaches. Likewise, the Chamber questioned the
Bureau's "practice of issuing extremely expansive requests for information."
The Chamber warned, using a specific example, that this practice "effectively
gives carte blanche to Bureau investigators to impose huge financial burdens on
companies at the outset of an investigation." The Chamber suggested that the
CFPB adopt the more restrictive approach employed by the Federal Trade Commission
and other federal regulatory agencies to request only those "'[d]ocuments
sufficient to' provide the relevant information, and focus requests for 'all'
documents on the specific area under investigation."
Stay tuned to the CFPB-Lawblog as we follow the CFPB's
response to this letter.
Read more articles about the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau at Dykema's CFPB Blog
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