The CFPB recently revised its policy on Appeals of Supervisory Matters. Supervisory appeals are an avenue for supervised entities to obtain a second opinion from CFPB headquarters about examiners’ findings. However, the Bureau’s policy excludes the most significant matters — specifically, all aspects of enforcement — from this process.
In 1994, Congress required the federal prudential regulators to establish “an independent intra-agency appellate process” that is “available to review material supervisory determinations,” with “appropriate safeguards … for protecting the appellant from retaliation by agency examiners.”
Although the Bureau is not expressly subject to this congressional mandate, it established a similar appeals process in 2012. The Bureau’s policy allows entities to appeal less-than-satisfactory compliance ratings (a 3, 4, or 5) and adverse findings in a supervisory letter or examination report, but not the supervisory letter or examination report itself.
None of the regulators allow a supervised entity to use the appeals process to contest the decision to pursue an enforcement action. But in the case of the OCC, “[w]hile banks may not appeal a decision by [examiners] to pursue a formal enforcement-related action, banks may appeal conclusions in” an exam report that underlies a potential enforcement action.