On February 20, 2023, Inside the CFBP quoted Jonathan Pompan regarding the decline of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) enforcement activity in 2022.
According to the article, the CFBP opened 25 enforcement investigations in fiscal year 2022, according to figures obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. The FY22 figure is down 60.9% from a year earlier and the third-lowest annual total ever. The article also noted the bureau makes enforcement investigations public only when they turn into enforcement actions, which can take more than a year.
Pompan said, part of 2022 was “probably spent on the cumulative number of inquiries still pending from earlier years.”
He added that there’s been an “uptick in cases being litigated, in which companies have decided to fight back and not be pushed into harsh settlements by the CFPB; that takes resources.
Further, Pompan said, many nonbanks have improved their compliance management systems, and several firms are routinely examined by the bureau. “That makes it less likely investigations should be needed or would be warranted,” he said. “However, a decrease in the number of new investigations doesn’t necessarily mean that the CFPB’s effectiveness and efficiency in protecting consumers has decreased.