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FY 2013 financial report showcases CFPB’s growth

Posted in CFPB General

Earlier this week, the CFPB released its Financial Report for fiscal year 2013.  Like previous reports, the 2013 report is divided into two parts: one part contains management’s discussion and analysis and the other part contains the CFPB’s financial statements and note disclosures. 

Perhaps the most eye-catching numbers in the report are the CFPB employee numbers.  The report indicates that the CFPB grew from about 970 employees as of the end of FY 2012 to 1,335 employees as of the end of FY 2013 (which ended September 30).  During FY 2013, the CFPB received $518.4 million in fund transfers from the Fed (more than three times the $161.8 million in funds transferred in FY 2011 and $175 million more than the $343.3 million transferred in FY 2012).  For FY 2013, under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB was entitled to receive up to approximately $597.6 million in funding from the Fed.  Despite these enormous increases in employees and funding, the report states that “[a]t the end of fiscal year 2013, the CFPB was still below the full employment levels and funding it estimates for its steady state in future years.”  

As of  the end of FY 2013, the CFPB’s Division of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending and the Division of Research, Markets and Regulations represented, respectively, 45% and 9% of total CFPB positions. 

The section of management’s discussion devoted to CFPB performance lists as one of the Bureau’s performance goals the completion of consumer protection related rulemaking within nine months of final public comments.  The report indicates that in FY 2013, the CFPB finalized or otherwise resolved 78% of the proposed rulemaking it solely conducted and 100% of the CFPB’s “significant consumer protection related, notice-and-comment rulemakings” were “informed by public outreach processes.”  Of course, the latter statistic does not reflect the fact that two of the CFPB’s most significant regulatory actions in FY 2013, the release of its guidance on auto fair lending and unfair, deceptive or abusive debt collection practices, were neither the result of notice-and-comment rulemaking nor informed by public outreach.  

Other interesting statistics in the report are that in FY 2013, (1) 100% of the cases filed by the CFPB were “successfully resolved through litigation, a settlement, issuance of a default judgment, or other means,” (2) 87% of complaints were routed through the dedicated company portal, and (3) 144,000 consumer complaints were handled (as compared with 74,000 in FY 2012). 

The report also includes a section that consists of the CFPB’s 2013 Civil Penalty Annual Report.  The annual report contains a list of all civil penalties collected by the CFPB from July 18, 2012 through September 30, 2013 and a description of all allocations from the fund to date and the basis for the allocations.  In FY 2013, the CFPB collected $49.5 million in civil penalties from 11 defendants (including a $1.00 payment from an individual defendant in the Chance Gordon enforcement action.)  The CFPB used the civil penalties it collected to compensate victims in cases with uncompensated harm and for consumer education and literacy programs, leaving an unallocated balance of approximately $53.6 million.