CFPB announces longer terms, more meetings for advisory boards

Register now

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps Thursday to expand the roles of outside advisory boards following the firing last year of board members under former acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney.

Director Kathleen Kraninger stopped short of fully reversing Mulvaney's downsizing of the Consumer Advisory Board and two other panels. But the agency will institute longer terms for board members — from one to two years — and the boards will meet three times a year, up from two.

Still, Kraninger did not restore the three-year board terms that had been in effect under former Democratic-appointed Director Richard Cordray, and she did not reverse Mulvaney's reduction in the boards' sizes.

After Mulvaney fired all 25 members of the CAB in June, the board was reconstituted with only nine members. The Community Bank Advisory Council and Credit Union Advisory Council, which had totaled roughly 35 members, were reconstituted with six members each.

Kraninger, who has been on the job three months, said she made the changes after meeting with current and former board members on a listening tour.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the Bureau benefits from the valuable input provided by committee members,” Kraninger said in a press release. “I have also seen how the joint committee meeting is resulting in members sharpening their ideas by engaging in a thorough dialogue.”

Starting in September, the three boards will hold joint public meetings three times a year.

Meanwhile, a fourth board — the Academic Research Council — will meet separately in person twice a year and be elevated to a director-level advisory committee.

All existing board members are serving one-year terms that end in September. In order for the boards in fiscal 2020 to have staggered terms, half of the existing board members will receive a one-year extension. The agency said it was accepting applications for new members to serve on the boards.

Under Mulvaney, the CFPB had published a blog post stating that it specifically wanted “experts with diverse viewpoints” for its boards, including “representatives of banks that primarily serve underserved communities.”

The CFPB will accept applications for 45 days once a notice about the boards is published in the Federal Register.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.