CFPB Announces Enhancements to Advisory Committees; Accepting Council Applications

Rick Schmidt
Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Credit Union Advisory Council Rick Schmidt, CEO of WestStar CU

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) has announced enhancements to its advisory committee charters—the result of CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger’s engagement with current and former advisory committee members during her three-month listening tour.

“I’ve seen firsthand how the Bureau benefits from the valuable input provided by committee members. I have also seen how the joint committee meeting is resulting in members sharpening their ideas by engaging in a thorough dialogue,” Kraninger said. “These enhancements demonstrate my commitment to ensuring that the Bureau’s advisory committees are helping to improve our work on behalf of consumers.”

The Bureau’s advisory committee program includes the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Academic Research Council (ARC), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), and Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). Effective fiscal year 2020, the councils will expand their focus to broad policy matters and increase the frequency of in-person meetings from two times a year to three times a year. The CAB, CBAC, and CUAC will continue their joint public meetings.

Oher changes include the membership terms for the committees being extended from a one-year term to two-year terms with staggered terms. The one-year term of all existing members expires September 2019. A one-year term extension will be provided to half of the current members in order to achieve the staggered terms and ensure continuity. In addition to a Chair, each committee will be assigned a Vice-Chair. Both the Chair and the Vice-Chair will serve a one-year term in their respective positions, with the Vice-Chair assuming the Chair the following year.

For the past six months WestStar CU CEO Rick Schmidt has chaired the Credit Union Advisory Council, where he said he has learned a great deal as well as had the opportunity to work with community bankers and consumer advocates on a range of topics, including fintech, consumer education, FCRA, and HMDA.

“At our most recent meeting we got to meet and interact with new Director Kathy Kraninger,” Schmidt said. “She was open and engaged with us and listened intently to what we had to say.”

He added that Kraninger listened to the group’s suggestions on the structure of the council and told them their views would be taken into account as she and her team made decisions about the future of the councils. 

“Speaking only for myself, I was very pleased to hear that the Bureau was making positive changes to the council structure,” Schmidt said. “The staggered terms and longer tenure will create greater opportunities for the members of the councils to work closely with Bureau staff and with the other councils.

“The application window is now open for new members.  I encourage anyone who has an interest in the CFPB and its work to apply.  It is worth it,” he added.

Since the CFPB does not have direct supervision over credit unions with assets less than $10 billion, the CUAC is how the Bureau learns firsthand about how their rules and regulations affect credit unions. Credit unions with assets greater than $10 billion can apply for membership on the Consumer Advisory Board.

“To echo Rick’s comment, the Leagues highly encourage interested individuals to apply for membership on the CUAC or CAB, as applicable,” said Leagues Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy Sharon Turley.  

Only current credit union employees (CEOs, compliance officers, government relations officials, etc.) will be considered for CUAC membership.

The application process opened March 21. Complete application packets must be received on or before May 5 to be considered for membership on the CUAC or CAB.

For more information on the application process, application packet, and qualifications, click here

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