The CFPB released a bulletin January 27, 2015 to remind all of us that we are not allowed to talk about things that go on during the exam process. It’s worthy of a read and is only a few pages long.
I’ve heard this from many of our clients and found it tough to believe until today!
What I find interesting about bulletins like this is that they seem to come across as threatening rather than helpful. I certainly understand the need to protect information, but I’ve seen first hand how many of our clients have had difficulty communicating to their vendors what they would like to see us do. The reason it is difficult is that they can only say things like “it would be really helpful if we could do “xyz”. In my opinion this can be harmful versus helpful and here is why.
1. Vendors have the ability to create solutions to those problems that are causing exam results that are not optimal. If no one is allowed to tell their vendors the problems they have, then defining solutions can be problematic.
2. Broad statements and phrases that seem to include any possible conversation between parties whether written or verbal don’t correct the issue for consumers and add more fuel to the fear that lenders already have with all of this new regulation. Instead, this information should be able to be shared to some degree, so that more companies have that “uh oh I better change that moment”. Imagine how this would help so many companies who really want to get it right. After all, this is fairly new stuff to our industry and I would assume that the CFPB would rather most of us get it right versus wrong. Certainly the consumer would appreciate it too!
3. Guidelines can be gray and complex. Clarity on how they are being interpreted by the examination community can assist all of us at many levels.
4. It feels like the small town I grew up in; but in a bad way. Everyone knew something was happening, but no one was allowed to talk about. Haven’t we learned that communication among peers creates more solutions that can have an immediate and positive impact on consumers?
The CFPB is going to say that they offer a quarterly report on supervisory findings, but it is rarely detailed enough to offer finite corrections to lender policies, procedures and workflow.
I would love to hear your opinions as well. CLICK HERE to read the Bulletin.