WASHINGTON (10/15/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's decision to remove enforcement attorneys from on-site examinations "is a wise move on CFPB's part," Credit Union National Association General Counsel Eric Richard said Monday.
"Having enforcement attorneys take part in exams can imply some kind of punitive intent that can chill open communications between examiners and financial institutions. Plus, taking part in exams can transform enforcement attorneys into witnesses, which often creates a conflict of interest," Richard added.
The CFPB said enforcement attorneys will continue to coordinate with examiners offsite, and will work closely with supervision examiners to ensure that the financial institutions the CFPB oversees are following the rules, the CFPB said. "We think this approach will result in better overall oversight," a CFPB representative told News Now.
The CFPB, she said, found that it was not efficient to have both examiners and enforcement attorneys physically present on exams. American Banker last week reported that banking representatives had complained about the enforcement attorney role in examinations. The attorneys, some said, were hampering communication between institutions and examiners.
Credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt from supervision and enforcement by the CFPB. CUNA continues to press the CFPB to minimize the impact of CFPB rules on credit unions where possible and appropriate.