44% of CFPB staffing in FY2019 was for supervision, enforcement and fair lending, report shows

Of the bureau’s total staffing in fiscal 2019, approximately 44% was dedicated to supervision, enforcement and fair lending, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shows in its financial report for the period.

The report, released Friday, shows overall staffing peaked in fiscal 2017 at 1,668 and was down to 1,430 in fiscal 2019. While 44% of staffing in fiscal 2019 was for the supervision/enforcement/fair lending function, the report shows that 14% of staffing was dedicated to consumer education and engagement. Another 5% was for the bureau’s legal division. Operations got 20% of staffing; research, markets and regulation, 10%; the director, 4%; external affairs, 2%; and “other programs,” 1%.

Reporting on fiscal 2019 net costs, the bureau reported a total net cost of $621 million, of which $215.2 million (34.7%) was related to implementation and enforcement of laws; $247.6 million (39.9%) was related to fostering “operational excellence,” and $158.2 million (about 25.5%) was related to access to markets.

The bureau gets its funding from the Federal Reserve. For fiscal 2019, the statutory cap on transfers from the Fed to the CFPB was $678.9 million; the CFPB requested a total of $468.2 million, or a little more than two-thirds of the cap.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) charges the bureau with ensuring that, with respect to consumer financial products and services:

  • consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions;
  • consumers are protected from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices and from discrimination;
  • outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations are regularly identified and addressed in order to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens;
  • federal consumer financial law is enforced consistently in order to promote fair competition; and
  • markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.

The act describes the bureau’s primary functions as follows:

  • conducting financial education programs;
  • collecting, investigating, and responding to consumer complaints;
  • collecting, researching, monitoring, and publishing information relevant to the functioning of markets for consumer financial products and services to identify risks to consumers and the proper functioning of such markets;
  • subject to sections 1024 through 1026, supervising covered persons for compliance with federal consumer financial law, and taking appropriate enforcement action to address violations of Federal consumer financial law;
  • issuing rules, orders, and guidance implementing federal consumer financial law; and
  • performing such support activities as may be necessary or useful to facilitate the other functions of the bureau.

Financial report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Fiscal Year 2019 (Nov. 15, 2019)