The CFPB has decided to end its policy of sending enforcement attorneys to routine examinations of supervised financial institutions. The policy change will take effect on November 1, 2013.
The CFPB decision followed an internal review designed to streamline the examination process and make it less costly. The CFPB asserts that the change was not in response to criticism it has received from supervised institutions and others. Bank and nonbank financial service providers and their trade associations have objected to the CFPB’s policy from its start, arguing that it differs from the traditional approach taken by other federal regulators and limits the effectiveness of the examination process. Hearing those concerns, last November the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office identified the presence of enforcement attorneys at supervisory examinations as one of several “systemic issues” at the Bureau and recommended that the CFPB review its implementation of the policy. In addition, the Federal Reserve Office of Inspector General, which also serves as the CFPB’s inspector general, was in the process of reviewing the policy and was set to release its report in the coming weeks, and just recently the Bipartisan Policy Center called on the CFPB to end the policy.