The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fired the entirety of its 25- member Consumer Advisory Board during a conference call Wednesday, according to a Credit Union Journal article.
Anthony Welcher, a political appointee and the CFPB’s policy advisory for external affairs, told consumer advisory members during the brief call that the agency would be modifying the way the board operates
“We’ve decided we’re going to start the advisory groups with new membership to bring in these new perspectives and new dialogue,” Welcher reportedly said on the call. “We want more diverse voices and we want to bring people in from larger-scale organizations, larger-scale opportunities in the communities to hear about processes we may be going through.”
The CFPB is required as part of the Dodd-Frank Act to convene a consumer advisory board. The agency said in an email to consumer board members that it would continue to convene a consumer advisory board, but that the group would be made up of “new, smaller memberships.”
The Credit Union National Association Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donovan, said in a statement Wednesday that the mass-firing was just another indicator that the CFPB should be run by a “multi-person, bipartisan commission versus a single director.”
“It would likely be much more difficult to fire the entire Consumer Advisory Board,” he said. “It is long overdue for consumer groups and policymakers to take the politics out of consumer financial protection and support a commission to run the Bureau.”
Donovan also said CUNA has appreciated “the input the Credit Union Advisory Council has provided the Bureau throughout the years.”
“This Council is a valuable asset and should be preserved as it has been critical in educating the gency on the credit union difference, the unique not-for-profit structure and overall mission of credit unions,” he said. “CUNA strongly encourages the Bureau to continue engaging credit unions in its external outreach to gain a better understanding of the credit union business model, specifically as it relates to how regulations affect operations and service to consumers.”