CFPB to pull enforcement lawyers from on-site examinations

cfpbThe CFPB ombudsman office said in its second annual report to the agency that, as a result of concerns from industry participants, enforcement attorneys will no longer be present at financial institutions’ on-site examinations.

In its report, the office noted concerns from financial groups and trade organizations regarding the practice.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness said in a letter to the CFPB in February that the presence of enforcement attorneys contributes a combative tone and discourages communication during the exam process, Law 360 reports.

The office conducted a review of the policy and recommended that the CFPB make clarifications to institutions regarding the role of attorneys at the examinations.

After establishing an internal working group on the issue, the CFPB revised the role of enforcement attorneys at examinations, and while they will no longer attend on-site examinations, they “will continue to be integrated on examinations through regular meetings with examination staff.”

“Supervision examiners and enforcement attorneys will continue to work closely to ensure that the financial institutions that we oversee are following the rules,” CFPB spokeswoman Jen Howard said, according to Law 360. “We found that it wasn’t efficient to have both examiners and enforcement attorneys physically present on exams. Instead, we have decided that enforcement attorneys will continue to coordinate with examiners offsite. We think this approach will result in better overall oversight.”

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