Comments received by the federal consumer financial protection agency on its 12 “requests for information” (RFIs) have jumped to more than 87,000 counted so far – about eightfold the number in hand just two weeks ago – with comments about the agency’s supervision and consumer complaint reporting programs leading the tally.
According to the totals listed on Regulations.gov (a web-based federal rulemaking application supporting the federal government in its rulemaking process), the RFI on the agency’s supervision program has generated 55,048 comment letters as of Wednesday. (The comment period closed May 21.) Comments on the agency’s RFI about its consumer complaint reporting program totaled 21,704. Together, these comment letters make up about 88% of all the comment letters the agency has received on its 12 RFIs issued.
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) Acting Director Mick Mulvaney began issuing the RFIs in January in a “call for evidence” from the public about how (or whether) the agency was doing its job. Following that, the agency issued the dozen RFIs; all were eventually issued with 90-day comment periods.
Five comment periods have closed since then, the latest (on Monday, May 29) being for the RFI on “external engagements.” That RFI – which sought comments on ways the bureau engages and receives feedback from the public on its work – generated 48 comments as of Wednesday.
The RFI on supervision invited input on the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the bureau’s supervision program, as well as any recommended changes. It was the fourth RFI for which the comment deadline has closed. On May 22, the day after the comment period closed, Regulations.gov listed 46 comments received on the RFI. By Wednesday, that tally had jumped to more than 55,000.
The RFI on the agency’s consumer complaint reporting programs closes for comments June 4. That request (issued March 1) seeks public input about potential changes to BCFP’s public reporting practices of consumer complaint information, and to consider whether any changes to the practices would be appropriate.
However, the bureau stated when it issued the above-noted RFI, it would issue another information request about consumer inquiries and related process activities (the last in the series, issued April 11). The difference, CFPB said, is that the former “seeks feedback on all aspects of its consumer complaint reporting and publication practices; the Bureau is not seeking comment in this RFI on consumer inquiries and related process activities.” Comments on that last RFI are due July 16; 159 comments had been submitted by Wednesday.
The first RFI issued by the bureau in February, on civil investigative demands (CIDs), generated 9,731 comments by the time its comment period ended April 26.
So far, letters generated by that RFI – plus those generated by the RFIs on consumer complaint reporting and supervision – account for about 99% of the total letters received by the agency.