It may lack an official leader, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau isn't letting that slow its work.
The agency will meet Friday with industry representatives to gather information about how it should define "larger participants" in a half-dozen areas it has targeted: credit bureaus, debt collection, money transmission, prepaid cards and debt relief services.
Under the Dodd-Frank law, the CFPB has until July 2012 to finalize what businesses are "larger participants," the first step before imposing any reporting requirements and agency examinations. That year-long period is especially important because the law does not permit the CFPB to begin regulating non-banks until it has a director confirmed by the Senate.
Senate Republicans have threatened to veto anyone the Obama administration nominates to lead the new agency, unless the director's power is diluted. House Republicans have pushed to cut the CFPB's budget, which is funded by the Federal Reserve.
But even without a fulltime director, beginning on July 21 the CFPB is empowered to send its own examiners into the biggest U.S. banks with assets of $10 billion and to ensure that big banks comply with existing credit card disclosure laws and other existing consumer protection laws. The agency can also finish writing rules that ban "liar loans," mortgages made by banks without verifying a borrower's income.
Other Congressional hearings, rulemaking deadlines and events related to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law this week:
Tuesday, July 5
Simpler mortgages - Deadline for public feedback on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's revised prototype versions of document summarizing in simple language the mortgage amount, interest rate, monthly payment, closing costs, and other loan terms for borrowers.
Warren documents demanded - Deadline set by House Republicans for Treasury Department to turn over all documents between Elizabeth Warren, special adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and any state attorney general related to mortgage servicing, foreclosures or a possible settlement with the states.
Wednesday, July 6
Big bank liquidations -
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board of directors meets
to discuss the priority of claims when a major bank must be liquidated under the FDIC's new resolution authority. Also on the agenda is discussion of the "living wills" and credit exposure reports that mega-banks must file with the agency. Begins 1000 ET and will be webcast
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission staff holds
a public discussion about registration and disclosure requirements for commodity trading advisers and commodity pool operators. Begins 0900 ET. A listen-in phone line will be available at 866-844-9416, passcode 9730043.
Thursday, July 7
Mortgage servicers settlement
- House Financial Services subcommittee holds
hearing on the role of federal regulators in settlement negotiations with banks and mortgage servicers. Witnesses TBA. Begins 1000 ET.
Derivatives reporting -
Commodity Futures Trading Commission holds
meeting to finalize rules for large trader reporting of physical commodity swaps; privacy of consumer financial information; ban on price manipulation; and business affiliate marketing. Begins 0930 ET and will be webcast
Goodbye to GAAP -
Securities and Exchange Commission holds
public roundtable to discuss benefits and problems of U.S. companies adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Friday, July 8
CFPB outreach - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau meets with industry groups and other stakeholders to discuss how the agency should define "larger participants" in non-banking financial service businesses that are subject to its oversight and regulation. Meeting begins at 0830 ET.
Bank examiners -
House Financial Services subcommittee holds
hearing on bank examination practices. Witnesses TBA. Begins 0930 ET.
Overdraft protection -
Comment deadline for the Office of Comptroller of the Currency's proposed guidance
to banks on deposit-related consumer credit products such as automated overdraft protection and direct deposit advance programs. The principles say bankers should "provide their customers with products they need, and that bankers should not use these products to take advantage of their customer relationship."
Fannie, Freddie records -
Effective date for the Federal Housing Finance Agency's final regulations
setting record retention requirements for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks to ensure that records are readily accessible for examination and other supervisory purposes.