The CFPB has posted notice that its next meeting of the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) will take place Thursday March 2, from 10:30am-4:30pm, in Washington, D.C.

The meeting is expected to cover the consumer credit information marketplace, recent enforcement actions, trends and themes in consumer financial markets, and enhancements to the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database. According to the notice in the Federal Register, the specific agenda was going to be made available on February 15, however insideARM could not locate it as of this morning.

Part of the session is open to the public, and a recording and transcript of the will be made available after the meeting.

Individuals who wish to attend the Consumer Advisory Board meeting must RSVP to cfpb_cabandcouncilsevents@ by noon, March 1, 2017. Members of the public must RSVP by the due date and must include ‘‘CAB’’ in the subject line of the RSVP.

The CFPB recently announced it is accepting applications to fill seven upcoming vacancies on the CAB (as well as vacancies on its other advisory boards). They are looking for: 

  • Experts in consumer protection, community development, consumer finance, fair lending, and civil rights
  • Experts in consumer financial products or services
  • Representatives of banks that primarily serve underserved communities
  • Representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher priced mortgage loans
  • Current employees of credit unions and community banks
  • Academics (Experts in consumer finance markets and underserved populations.)

You can find instructions to apply here.

insideARM Perspective

In 2014 Joann Needleman, attorney at Clark Hill and former president of NARCA - The National Creditors' Bar Association, was appointed to a three-year term on the CAB. Since then, she has remained the only individual from the ARM industry to be selected.

After the new additions were announced in 2015, Joann offered these thoughts, suggesting the make up of the CAB tends to be indicative of the Bureau’s latest area of focus.

“When the CAB started, it was all housing. The fact that there are two banks represented [in this new group] is telling. The Bureau is looking at banks in unique ways, as opposed to the prudential regulators, who focused primarily on safety and soundness. The CFPB is the first regulator looking into how banks affect consumers on a different level. It’s also interesting that they’ve added NerdWallet and Affirm. It’s clear that the CFPB is struggling with technology and where it fits with consumer protection.”

In 2016, industry additions included (with the remaining new members coming from consumer groups):

  • William Howle, Head of U.S. Retail Bank, Citibank 
  • Raul Vazquez, Chief Executive Officer, Oportun (a financial technology company founded in 2005 with the mission of providing affordable loans to US Latinos and others with little or no credit history)
  • Arjan Schutte, Founder and Managing Partner, Core Innovation Capital (an investment firm that seeks to harness technology to build transformative financial products and services -- one of their portfolio companies is Oportun).
  • James M. Wehmann, Executive Vice President, Scores for Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)

Based on last year's picks, it seems Joann was correct about advisory board members representing areas the CFPB plans to focus on. These areas have certainly included credit reporting and alternative lending. Today, in fact, the CFPB is in Charleston, WV, holding a field hearing about alternative data.

Given that debt collection has risen to the top (or at least near the top) of the rulemaking agenda, one might anticipate an ARM industry addition to the group in 2017.

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