Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the household name everybody assumes it is?
At the Industry Summit last week, several presentations on the CFPB seemed to cover old ground, essentially introducing the agency as if the audience didn’t know what it was. Unnecessary? Maybe not.
At Northwood University this month, EFG President John Pappanastos gave students participating in the EFG Cos.-sponsored F&I product competition a series of acronyms to define. VSC, PVR and EFG (Enterprise Financial Group) were among them. So was CFPB.
When Pappanastos asked what CFPB stood for, not one student raised a hand.
At Northwood, a school that trains the best and brightest in the dealership world, one would think all the students’ hands would fly up -- especially in light of the CFPB’s campaign against dealer reserve.
Sessions at last week’s Industry Summit in Las Vegas addressed the CFPB’s actions against auto lenders but were remedial in nature. Some speakers gave a CFPB-auto lending history lesson while others simply advised dealers to set and enforce a pricing policy to keep compliant.
There was some speculation, in line with previous industry buzz, that regulators could go after F&I products next. Even so, attendees brought up the importance of compliance, but few discussed it further than that.
Nevertheless, I would expect that the CFPB and other regulators would be top of mind for industry players and automotive students, especially those planning to pursue F&I.
But as the Industry Summit shows, maybe the industry needs to do a better job with CFPB education. Then it can move forward to tackle new ground.