Changing the name of the federal consumer financial protection agency could impose costs of up to $300 million on the businesses that the agency regulates, according to a report published Monday.
The Hill, a newspaper and website covering Washington political and congressional developments, said in an exclusive report that an internal analysis by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as the CFPB) asserted that costs for changing the name of the agency – championed by Acting Director John (“Mick”) Mulvaney – would force banks, credit unions and other lenders and financial firms to spend about $300 million in total to update their databases, regulatory filings and disclosure forms with the new “BCFP” name to be in compliance with the rules enforced by the agency.
The Hill reported that the internal agency analysis estimates that the changes necessary to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and “certain mortgage regulations” would cost firms $100 million for each rule. The CFPB cited a 2010 cost-benefit analysis of agency name changes in its internal report, The Hill reported.
The publication also reported that the name change would cost the agency itself between $9 million and $19 million, covering updates to internal materials and its website, according to the analysis. For example, the agency’s website would have to be completely redesigned and reprogrammed – it still holds both the “cfpb.gov” address and the logo of the agency it was formerly known as (among other things).
Last week, the agency released its 2018 “Annual Report to the Director,” authored by Ombudsman Wendy Kamenshine. The report provides an overview of her office’s work processes and summarizes its activities from fiscal year 2018.
That report notes the the decision by Mulvaney last spring to change the bureau’s name from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The ombudsman says her office gave feedback and recommendations “in an early warning capacity” regarding the implementation process during the second half of the year. It did not detail the recommendations. “We will continue to review this topic and provide additional feedback and recommendations regarding the implementation, as needed, to assist both the Bureau and the public,” the report says.
In April, Mulvaney announced the name rejiggering in remarks to a conference of bankers meeting in Washington. In making the announcement, Mulvaney read the statutory language from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank), to the applause of the audience of bankers.
Mulvaney indicated at that time that he was only following the law. “That is what the law says,” Mulvaney noted; he also said the first thing he did when he was named acting director of the agency in November was to “read the law” creating the bureau.