Collapse to view only § 5493. Administration
- § 5491. Establishment of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
- § 5492. Executive and administrative powers
- § 5493. Administration
- § 5494. Consumer Advisory Board
- § 5495. Coordination
- § 5496. Appearances before and reports to Congress
- § 5496a. Annual audits
- § 5496b. GAO study of financial regulations
- § 5497. Funding; penalties and fines
- § 5498. Data standards
- § 5499. Open data publication
There is established in the Federal Reserve System, an independent bureau to be known as the “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection”, which shall regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under the Federal consumer financial laws. The Bureau shall be considered an Executive agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5. Except as otherwise provided expressly by law, all Federal laws dealing with public or Federal contracts, property, works, officers, employees, budgets, or funds, including the provisions of chapters 5 and 7 of title 5, shall apply to the exercise of the powers of the Bureau.
There is established the position of the Director, who shall serve as the head of the Bureau.
Subject to paragraph (3), the Director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The President shall nominate the Director from among individuals who are citizens of the United States.
The Director shall be compensated at the rate prescribed for level II of the Executive Schedule under section 5313 of title 5.
The Director shall serve for a term of 5 years.
An individual may serve as Director after the expiration of the term for which appointed, until a successor has been appointed and qualified.
The President may remove the Director for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.
No Director or Deputy Director may hold any office, position, or employment in any Federal reserve bank, Federal home loan bank, covered person, or service provider during the period of service of such person as Director or Deputy Director.
The principal office of the Bureau shall be in the District of Columbia. The Director may establish regional offices of the Bureau, including in cities in which the Federal reserve banks, or branches of such banks, are located, in order to carry out the responsibilities assigned to the Bureau under the Federal consumer financial laws.
The Director of the Bureau may delegate to any duly authorized employee, representative, or agent any power vested in the Bureau by law.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law applicable to the supervision or examination of persons with respect to Federal consumer financial laws, the Board of Governors may delegate to the Bureau the authorities to examine persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors for compliance with the Federal consumer financial laws.
No rule or order of the Bureau shall be subject to approval or review by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors may not delay or prevent the issuance of any rule or order of the Bureau.
No officer or agency of the United States shall have any authority to require the Director or any other officer of the Bureau to submit legislative recommendations, or testimony or comments on legislation, to any officer or agency of the United States for approval, comments, or review prior to the submission of such recommendations, testimony, or comments to the Congress, if such recommendations, testimony, or comments to the Congress include a statement indicating that the views expressed therein are those of the Director or such officer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Governors or the President.
The Bureau shall not be liable under any provision of law for any action or inaction of the Board of Governors, and the Board of Governors shall not be liable under any provision of law for any action or inaction of the Bureau.
The Director may fix the number of, and appoint and direct, all employees of the Bureau, in accordance with the applicable provisions of title 5.
The Director is authorized to employ attorneys, compliance examiners, compliance supervision analysts, economists, statisticians, and other employees as may be deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Bureau. Unless otherwise provided expressly by law, any individual appointed under this section shall be an employee as defined in section 2105 of title 5 and subject to the provisions of such title and other laws generally applicable to the employees of an Executive agency.
In implementing this subparagraph, the Director shall comply with the provisions of section 2302(b)(11),1 regarding veterans’ preference requirements, in a manner consistent with that in which such provisions are applied under chapter 33 of title 5. The authority under this subparagraph to waive the requirements of that chapter 33 shall expire 5 years after July 21, 2010.
Bureau employees shall make an election under this paragraph not later than 1 year after the date of appointment by, or transfer under part F to, the Bureau. Participation in, and benefit accruals under, any other retirement plan established or maintained by the Federal Government shall end not later than the date on which participation in, and benefit accruals under, the Federal Reserve System Retirement Plan and Federal Reserve System Thrift Plan begin.
The Bureau shall pay an employer contribution to the Federal Reserve System Retirement Plan, in the amount established as an employer contribution under the Federal Employees Retirement System, as established under chapter 84 of title 5 for each Bureau employee who elects to participate in the Federal Reserve System Retirement Plan. The Bureau shall pay an employer contribution to the Federal Reserve System Thrift Plan for each Bureau employee who elects to participate in such plan, as required under the terms of such plan.
The Bureau is the same employer as the Federal Reserve System (as comprised of the Board of Governors and each of the 12 Federal reserve banks prior to July 21, 2010) for purposes of subsections (b), (c), (m), and (o) of section 414 of title 26.
Chapter 71 of title 5 shall apply to the Bureau and the employees of the Bureau.
Not later than 180 days after the designated transfer date, the Bureau shall appoint an ombudsman.
The Director shall establish a unit whose functions shall include providing information, guidance, and technical assistance regarding the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services to traditionally underserved consumers and communities.
The Director shall establish a unit whose functions shall include establishing a single, toll-free telephone number, a website, and a database or utilizing an existing database to facilitate the centralized collection of, monitoring of, and response to consumer complaints regarding consumer financial products or services. The Director shall coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission or other Federal agencies to route complaints to such agencies, where appropriate.
The Director shall present an annual report to Congress not later than March 31 of each year on the complaints received by the Bureau in the prior year regarding consumer financial products and services. Such report shall include information and analysis about complaint numbers, complaint types, and, where applicable, information about resolution of complaints.
To facilitate preparation of the reports required under subparagraph (C), supervision and enforcement activities, and monitoring of the market for consumer financial products and services, the Bureau shall share consumer complaint information with prudential regulators, the Federal Trade Commission, other Federal agencies, and State agencies, subject to the standards applicable to Federal agencies for protection of the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and for data security and integrity. The prudential regulators, the Federal Trade Commission, and other Federal agencies shall share data relating to consumer complaints regarding consumer financial products and services with the Bureau, subject to the standards applicable to Federal agencies for protection of confidentiality of personally identifiable information and for data security and integrity.
The Director shall establish within the Bureau the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity.
The Director shall establish an Office of Financial Education, which shall be responsible for developing and implementing initiatives intended to educate and empower consumers to make better informed financial decisions.
Not later than 1 year after July 21, 2010, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report on the results of the study conducted under this paragraph to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.
The Director is authorized to assign employees of the Bureau as may be deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Office of Service Member Affairs, including by establishing and maintaining the functions of the Office in regional offices of the Bureau located near military bases, military treatment facilities, or other similar military facilities.
The Director is authorized to enter into memoranda of understanding and similar agreements with the Department of Defense, including any branch or agency as authorized by the department, in order to carry out the business of the Office of Service Member Affairs.
As used in this subsection, the term “service member” means any member of the United States Armed Forces and any member of the National Guard or Reserves.
The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, the Office of Financial Education, and the Office of Service Member Affairs shall each be established not later than 1 year after the designated transfer date.
Before the end of the 180-day period beginning on the designated transfer date, the Director shall establish the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, the functions of which shall include activities designed to facilitate the financial literacy of individuals who have attained the age of 62 years or more (in this subsection, referred to as “seniors”) on protection from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices and on current and future financial choices, including through the dissemination of materials to seniors on such topics.
The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans (in this subsection referred to as the “Office”) shall be headed by an assistant director.
Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 10 of title 5, such chapter shall apply to each advisory committee of the Bureau and each subcommittee of such an advisory committee.
The Director shall establish a Consumer Advisory Board to advise and consult with the Bureau in the exercise of its functions under the Federal consumer financial laws, and to provide information on emerging practices in the consumer financial products or services industry, including regional trends, concerns, and other relevant information.
In appointing the members of the Consumer Advisory Board, the Director shall seek to assemble experts in consumer protection, financial services, community development, fair lending and civil rights, and consumer financial products or services and representatives of depository institutions that primarily serve underserved communities, and representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgage loans, and seek representation of the interests of covered persons and consumers, without regard to party affiliation. Not fewer than 6 members shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the regional Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, on a rotating basis.
The Consumer Advisory Board shall meet from time to time at the call of the Director, but, at a minimum, shall meet at least twice in each year.
The Bureau shall coordinate with the Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and other Federal agencies and State regulators, as appropriate, to promote consistent regulatory treatment of consumer financial and investment products and services.
The Director of the Bureau shall appear before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives at semi-annual hearings regarding the reports required under subsection (b).
The Bureau shall, concurrent with each semi-annual hearing referred to in subsection (a), prepare and submit to the President and to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, a report, beginning with the session following the designated transfer date. The Bureau may also submit such report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
The Bureau shall order an annual independent audit of the operations and budget of the Bureau.
The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an annual audit of the Bureau’s financial statements in accordance with generally accepted government accounting standards.
Not later than the end of the 30-day period following the completion of a study conducted pursuant to subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall issue a report to the Congress containing a detailed description of all findings and conclusions made by the Comptroller General in carrying out such study, together with such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Comptroller General may determine to be appropriate.
Each year (or quarter of such year), beginning on the designated transfer date, and each quarter thereafter, the Board of Governors shall transfer to the Bureau from the combined earnings of the Federal Reserve System, the amount determined by the Director to be reasonably necessary to carry out the authorities of the Bureau under Federal consumer financial law, taking into account such other sums made available to the Bureau from the preceding year (or quarter of such year).
The dollar amount referred to in subparagraph (A)(iii) shall be adjusted annually, using the percent increase, if any, in the employment cost index for total compensation for State and local government workers published by the Federal Government, or the successor index thereto, for the 12-month period ending on September 30 of the year preceding the transfer.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this title,1
Beginning on July 21, 2010, and until the designated transfer date, the Board of Governors shall transfer to the Bureau the amount estimated by the Secretary needed to carry out the authorities granted to the Bureau under Federal consumer financial law, from July 21, 2010 until the designated transfer date.
The Director shall provide to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget copies of the financial operating plans and forecasts of the Director, as prepared by the Director in the ordinary course of the operations of the Bureau, and copies of the quarterly reports of the financial condition and results of operations of the Bureau, as prepared by the Director in the ordinary course of the operations of the Bureau.
The Bureau shall implement and maintain financial management systems that comply substantially with Federal financial management systems requirements and applicable Federal accounting standards.
The Director shall provide to the Comptroller General of the United States an assertion as to the effectiveness of the internal controls that apply to financial reporting by the Bureau, using the standards established in section 3512(c) of title 31.
This subsection may not be construed as implying any obligation on the part of the Director to consult with or obtain the consent or approval of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget with respect to any report, plan, forecast, or other information referred to in subparagraph (A) or any jurisdiction or oversight over the affairs or operations of the Bureau.
The financial statements of the Bureau shall not be consolidated with the financial statements of either the Board of Governors or the Federal Reserve System.
The Comptroller General shall annually audit the financial transactions of the Bureau in accordance with the United States generally accepted government auditing standards, as may be prescribed by the Comptroller General of the United States. The audit shall be conducted at the place or places where accounts of the Bureau are normally kept. The representatives of the Government Accountability Office shall have access to the personnel and to all books, accounts, documents, papers, records (including electronic records), reports, files, and all other papers, automated data, things, or property belonging to or under the control of or used or employed by the Bureau pertaining to its financial transactions and necessary to facilitate the audit, and such representatives shall be afforded full facilities for verifying transactions with the balances or securities held by depositories, fiscal agents, and custodians. All such books, accounts, documents, records, reports, files, papers, and property of the Bureau shall remain in possession and custody of the Bureau. The Comptroller General may obtain and duplicate any such books, accounts, documents, records, working papers, automated data and files, or other information relevant to such audit without cost to the Comptroller General, and the right of access of the Comptroller General to such information shall be enforceable pursuant to section 716(c) of title 31.
The Comptroller General shall submit to the Congress a report of each annual audit conducted under this subsection. The report to the Congress shall set forth the scope of the audit and shall include the statement of assets and liabilities and surplus or deficit, the statement of income and expenses, the statement of sources and application of funds, and such comments and information as may be deemed necessary to inform Congress of the financial operations and condition of the Bureau, together with such recommendations with respect thereto as the Comptroller General may deem advisable. A copy of each report shall be furnished to the President and to the Bureau at the time submitted to the Congress.
For the purpose of conducting an audit under this subsection, the Comptroller General may, in the discretion of the Comptroller General, employ by contract, without regard to section 6101 of title 41, professional services of firms and organizations of certified public accountants for temporary periods or for special purposes. Upon the request of the Comptroller General, the Director of the Bureau shall transfer to the Government Accountability Office from funds available, the amount requested by the Comptroller General to cover the full costs of any audit and report conducted by the Comptroller General. The Comptroller General shall credit funds transferred to the account established for salaries and expenses of the Government Accountability Office, and such amount shall be available upon receipt and without fiscal year limitation to cover the full costs of the audit and report.
There is established in the Federal Reserve a separate fund, to be known as the “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Fund” (referred to in this section as the “Bureau Fund”). The Bureau Fund shall be maintained and established at a Federal reserve bank, in accordance with such requirements as the Board of Governors may impose.
All amounts transferred to the Bureau under subsection (a) shall be deposited into the Bureau Fund.
The Bureau may request the Board of Governors to direct the investment of the portion of the Bureau Fund that is not, in the judgment of the Bureau, required to meet the current needs of the Bureau.
Investments authorized by this paragraph shall be made in obligations of the United States or obligations that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States, with maturities suitable to the needs of the Bureau Fund, as determined by the Bureau.
The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Bureau Fund shall be credited to the Bureau Fund.
Funds obtained by, transferred to, or credited to the Bureau Fund shall be immediately available to the Bureau and under the control of the Director, and shall remain available until expended, to pay the expenses of the Bureau in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. The compensation of the Director and other employees of the Bureau and all other expenses thereof may be paid from, obtained by, transferred to, or credited to the Bureau Fund under this section.
Funds obtained by or transferred to the Bureau Fund shall not be construed to be Government funds or appropriated monies.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, amounts in the Bureau Fund and in the Civil Penalty Fund established under subsection (d) shall not be subject to apportionment for purposes of chapter 15 of title 31 or under any other authority.
There is established in the Federal Reserve a separate fund, to be known as the “Consumer Financial Civil Penalty Fund” (referred to in this section as the “Civil Penalty Fund”). The Civil Penalty Fund shall be maintained and established at a Federal reserve bank, in accordance with such requirements as the Board of Governors may impose. If the Bureau obtains a civil penalty against any person in any judicial or administrative action under Federal consumer financial laws, the Bureau shall deposit into the Civil Penalty Fund, the amount of the penalty collected.
Amounts in the Civil Penalty Fund shall be available to the Bureau, without fiscal year limitation, for payments to the victims of activities for which civil penalties have been imposed under the Federal consumer financial laws. To the extent that such victims cannot be located or such payments are otherwise not practicable, the Bureau may use such funds for the purpose of consumer education and financial literacy programs.
The Director is authorized to determine that sums available to the Bureau under this section will not be sufficient to carry out the authorities of the Bureau under Federal consumer financial law for the upcoming year.
When making a determination under subparagraph (A), the Director shall prepare a report regarding the funding of the Bureau, including the assets and liabilities of the Bureau, and the extent to which the funding needs of the Bureau are anticipated to exceed the level of the amount set forth in subsection (a)(2). The Director shall submit the report to the President and to the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
If the Director makes the determination and submits the report pursuant to paragraph (1), there are hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Bureau, for the purposes of carrying out the authorities granted in Federal consumer financial law, $200,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amounts in paragraph (2) shall be subject to apportionment under section 1517 of title 31 and restrictions that generally apply to the use of appropriated funds in title 31 and other laws.
The Director shall prepare and submit a report, on an annual basis, to the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives regarding the financial operating plans and forecasts of the Director, the financial condition and results of operations of the Bureau, and the sources and application of funds of the Bureau, including any funds appropriated in accordance with this subsection.
The Bureau shall, by rule, adopt data standards for all collections of information that are regularly filed with or submitted to the Bureau.
The data standards required under subsection (a) shall incorporate, and ensure compatibility with (to the extent feasible), all applicable data standards established in the rules promulgated under section 5334 of this title, including, to the extent practicable, by having the characteristics described in clauses (i) through (vi) of subsection (c)(1)(B) of such section 5334.