Cordray and Curry Address AGs Regarding Enforcement Initiatives

Posted on March 4th, 2013 in Consumer Finance, Federal Issues By BuckleySandler

On February 26, CFPB Director Richard Cordray and Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry addressed the National Association of Attorneys General. Mr. Cordray’s remarks were largely duplicative of those given a week earlier to the CFPB Consumer Advisory Board, and again identified several “problems” observed by the CFPB. Those problems were (i) deceptive and misleading marketing of consumer financial products and services, (ii) “debt traps” that trigger a cycle of debt, such as short-term credit products, (iii) “dead ends” in markets such as debt collection, loan servicing, and credit reporting where consumers cannot choose their provider and lack typical market influences, and (iv) discrimination. With regard to short-term loans, Mr. Cordray identified as an enforcement challenge lenders that lack a physical presence, and acknowledged ongoing efforts by the CFPB to address “loans that involve off-shore or other jurisdictional issues.” In his remarks, Mr. Curry first stressed the similar objectives of, and close working relationship among, the OCC, the CFPB, and the attorneys general. He then spent the majority of his remarks explaining why most OCC enforcement actions are resolved by settlement, adding that the first enforcement goal of the OCC as a “prudential bank supervisor” is remediation. Mr. Curry also responded to criticisms that OCC enforcement actions are “insufficiently severe,” and noted that the OCC is prepared to litigate if an institution refuses to consent.

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