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CFPB Disbands Consumer Advisory Board and Two Advisory Councils

On June 6, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection (CFBP) disbanded its Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) as well as two other advisory councils, the Community Bank Advisory Council and the Credit Union Advisory Council. The 60 plus members of the three committees were told during a conference call that they were being disbanded and restructured with new membership.

According to the CAB members, the acting Director Mick Mulvaney repeatedly canceled meetings and did not convene any in-person meetings with group since he took over as acting director despite being legally required to hold at least two meetings per year under the Dodd-Frank Act. Mulvaney replied in a letter to CAB Chair, Ann Baddour that there was “no cause for concern” and that the committees would “meet at my call at least twice this calendar year, in fulfillment of the bureau’s legal obligations.”   However, days later the board members claim that they and members of two other advisory groups that focus on community banks and credit unions were told that their terms were being terminated and they were not allowed to reapply. 

CFPB Policy Advisor for External Affairs, Anthony Welcher, contended the decision was partly cost driven. “We save multi-hundred thousand dollars a year for the bureau by not having the meetings the way that we’ve been structuring them.”  The other reason for disbanding the committee was that the CFPB was receiving too much feedback from the coastal parts of the country. “The coastal regions have a huge voice in a lot of these issues and that the middle part country has been missed and that is something that is going to be addressed in a very prolific way.”  In addition, the change was purportedly in response to feedback that the agency had received on a request for information on external outreach efforts.  The CAB  consists of twenty-five representatives, from many nationwide consumer groups and large financial firms.  

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