Steve Van Beek, NAFCU's Director of Regulatory Compliance, has a dynamite article in the latest issue of The Federal Credit Union, that community banks, as well as credit unions, would do well to heed. In addition to noting the obvious fact that Dodd-Frank's increase of regulations means increased compliance burdens for credit unions, he discusses a very important "paradigm shift" in the way credit unions (and community banks) need to view compliance. In the years "BFD" (Before Franken-Dodd), the compliance officer was often brought into the discussion of a product or service at a late date, and then gave it a thumbs up or thumbs down verdict. Steve rightly notes that the old school approach is a good way to be schooled by the CFPB.
Steve observes that the "CFPB's focus is principle-based as wellas requirement-based."
Not only will credit unions need to determine if their product or service is compliant with laws, regulations and guidance, but they will also need to expend resources to document that the product or service provides a benefit to members.
Why? Steve's glad you asked. Th answer is UDAAP: unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices. You have a new sheriff in town, the CFPB. It's focused on how consumers use products and services and how consumer service and product providers might "take advantage" of consumers. In other words, the CFPB seems to be running down the path of determining what products and services are "suitable" for consumers and which are not. It's a brave new world, one in which the old focus on checking off items on a compliance checklist is not going to get the job done. Instead, financial institutions will "need to build a UDAAP review into their product structure and development and monitor their products and services over time, as the UDAAP standard is not static."
There's a lot more meat on the bones, and I highly recommend that you read the whole article. It's a good warning shot across the bow of the critically dysfunctional and soon-to-be-beaten-down dinosaurs who squawk an outdated mantra: "Show me where it says I can't do that." Believe me, if you don't understand that it's a whole knew compliance ballgame and learn the new rules, pronto, the CFPB tire tracks will make a nice pair of bookends on the back of your bowling shirt as you lie face down and flattened in the middle of the consumer compliance highway.