RFI No. 9 on ‘inherited regs, authorities’ generates second-fewest number of comments to consumer bureau

The ninth “request for information” (RFI) by the federal consumer financial protection agency generated only 38 comments, as of midnight Monday, the second-fewest produced in one request so far in the program by the agency to collect “evidence” on how it is doing its job.

The RFI about “Inherited Regulations and Inherited Rulemaking Authorities” was issued March 22 for a 90-day comment period, which closed Monday.

Three “requests for information” have dominated the comments generated, so far, among the dozen issued by the BCFP – accounting for more than 99% of all comments generated.

The ninth among the total 12 RFIs published by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) beginning in January, the comments it generated represent 0.04% of all the comments generated by the dozen RFIs so far.

According to Regulations.gov (a web-based application by the federal government supporting its rulemaking process), the only other RFI that received fewer comments – at 33 – and which has closed for comments, was the second on “Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings.” It closed for comment May 7.

The dozen RFIs issued by the agency are an effort by its acting director, Mick Mulvaney, to elicit “evidence” on how the agency is doing its job. The bureau began issuing the requests in January; three more requests remain outstanding.

The most recent RFI to close for public input sought comments about whether the agency “should amend the regulations or exercise the rulemaking authorities that it inherited from other federal government agencies,” the agency said in a statement when issuing the request.

The bureau said, when it issued the request for comments, that it inherited a variety of rules and authorities in 2011 from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and other federal agencies related to federal financial institution regulation.

“The purpose of this RFI is to seek feedback on the content of the Inherited Regulations, not the Bureau’s rulemaking processes, implementation initiatives that occur after the issuance of a final rule, or the Adopted Regulations,” the bureau stated in its notice, also pointing out those latter areas are addressed in RFIs either already issued or still to come.

Overall, the RFI program has, to date, generated more than 87,400 comments on all 12 of the RFIs issued (the nine that have closed comment periods received a total of 87,243, or 99.7% of all comments posted to date), according to the tallies of letters reported on Regulations.gov.

Three RFIs have dominated the comment counts, accumulating 98.6% of all the comments. Those are: the fourth issued, on “Supervision Programs” of the bureau (generating 55,049 comments, or 62.9% of all received by the bureau) and which closed on May 21; the sixth, on “Public Reporting Practices of Consumer Complaint Information” by the bureau, at 23,235 (or 26.5%), closed on June 4; and the first, on “Civil Investigative Demands” issued by the bureau, at 8,021 (or 9.1%), closed on April 26.

The three remaining RFIs out for comment focus on: the bureau’s “Guidance and Implementation Support” (comments close July 2; 15 have been received so far); “Bureau Financial Education Programs” (comments close July 9; 41 have been generated to date); and “Consumer Complaint and Consumer Inquiry Handling Processes” (comments close July 16; 171 are in receipt by the bureau so far).

RFI on inherited rules and rulemaking authorities