Two days into her job as an Obama administration Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Elizabeth Warren met with Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney for further perspective on top credit union issues. Warren is charged with helping the administration create the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Cheney emphasized that CUNA's key objective in working with the new agency will be to minimize credit unions' regulatory burdens, costs and requirements. Warren welcomed CUNA's commentary on how consumer financial regulations can be improved and how consumer financial disclosures can be pared down. Warren also noted that improving the transparency and consumer-friendliness of many financial products would benefit credit unions, as they already lead their competitors in these core areas.
Cheney reiterated CUNA's desire to work with Warren and the CFPB going forward, and urged Warren to include credit union leaders as part of the CFPB's developing Consumer Advisory Board. Cheney also attended a Treasury mortgage disclosure forum later in the day. The forum was convened by the Treasury to discuss how mortgage disclosure forms can be simplified "so that consumers have the clear and easy-to-understand information they need to make the financial choices that are best for themselves and their families."
The CFPB earlier this week announced that the National Credit Union Administration and other financial regulators will be required to transfer functions and authorities regarding consumer financial laws to the CFPB by July 21, 2011.
In a blog post on the
White House website, Warren said that the CFPB is "based on a pretty simple idea: people ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and know the deal. The CFPB is based on the simple idea that if the playing field is level and families can see what's going on, they will have better tools to make better choices," she added.