WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau budget is expected to jump 32% in fiscal year 2013, to $448 million, under the White House budget proposal released Monday.
The 2013 spike is the result of expected increases in compensation and benefits costs as CFPB continues to bulk up its staff. The budget more than doubled in fiscal 2012, to $340 million from $162 million, as the new regulator hired employees, built up infrastructure, began its bank supervision program and inherited a slew of existing regulations after its official opening on July 21.
The projected increase is likely to raise the ire of Republicans, who have long complained that the bureau should have to go through the Congressional appropriations process. CFPB Director Richard Cordray has been called to testify on Wednesday about the bureau's budget before the House Financial Services oversight subcommittee, which also plans to look at the CFPB's policies and procedures for providing budget information to Congress.
The bureau's funding comes from mandatory transfers from the Federal Reserve System. The CFPB has the ability to request up to $597.6 million in 2013, and may request up to $200 million more in discretionary appropriations from Congress until 2014, but "no such request is expected over the budget horizon," the proposal said.
CFPB plans to hire more than 400 employees next year, increasing the estimated total number of employees to 1,359 in fiscal 2013, from an estimated 942 in fiscal 2012.
"From day one we knew that eventually the CFPB would be at 10% of the Fed expenses ... and this is just a ramp up of a new federal government agency," said Richard Hunt, the president of the Consumer Bankers Association.
The White House proposal also includes a number of budget increases for other financial services agencies, including the Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Small Business Administration.
Under the administration's proposal, the Treasury budget would increase 6.9% from fiscal year 2012, to $14 billion, including a 12.5% funding increase for the Internal Revenue Service.
Excluding funding for the IRS, however, the Treasury budget would actually decrease by 2.7%, the proposal said. The president's request would reduce funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by $8.4 million, or 7.5%, to $102.4 million. It would also lower funding for the Office of Inspector General by 3.3%, to $28.6 million.
Under the proposal, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency expects to collect $1.03 billion in assessments in fiscal year 2013, compared to $1.2 billion in 2012 and $722 million in 2011. The OCC expect to spend approximately $1.1 billion in 2013, a slight decline from $1.2 billion in estimated spending in 2012.
The Financial Research Fund, which provides funding for the Office of Financial Research and Financial Stability Oversight Council, expects to collect approximately $168 million in assessments on bank holding companies with more than $50 billion in assets, according to the proposal.
The fund expects to spend about $158 million in 2013 — $138 million for the OFR, and $20 million for the FSOC — compared with $123 million in 2012. The increase is primarily the rest of more hiring; OFR expects to increase full-time employees to 282 in 2013, from 153 in 2012 and just 12 in 2011.
This will be the first year in which the OFR and FSOC are funded entirely by fees. The two departments will be funded by transfers from the Federal Reserve until July 21.
SEC, CFTC, SBA
The budget would increase funding for the CFTC by 50%, to $308 million. The administration also urged Congress to pass legislation that would allow the CFTC, which is in charge of implementing a host of new derivatives regulations under Dodd-Frank, to collect user fees to fund its activities.
"Such legislation would bring the CFTC into line with all other Federal financial regulators, which are funded in whole or in part through user fees," the proposal said.
It would also increase funding for the SEC by 18%, to $1.5 billion in 2013.
"The next two years will be critical for the SEC and the CFTC as the agencies continue to identify and pursue unlawful activities stemming from the 2008 financial crisis and to operationalize the mandates of the Wall Street Reform Act," the proposal said.
The budget would also increase funding for the Small Business Administration by $32 million, or 3%, to $949 million in 2013.