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Ben Olson Quoted in Banking Exchange Article, "CFPB 4 Years In: Nobody's Indifferent About the 'New Cop on the Beat'"

Benjamin K. Olson

Ben Olson was quoted in Steve Cocheo's article, "CFPB 4 Years In: Nobody's Indifferent About the 'New Cop on the Beat,'" published in the October/November 2015 issue of Banking Exchange magazine.

Olson, today a partner at Buckley Sandler LLP, acknowledges some of the bankers' frustrations with the CFPB, but notes that "issues that the bureau is wrestling with are not easy" and were particularly challenging when the bureau was in its infancy. He adds that the staff, faced with a monumental regulatory to-do list when the CFPB was still setting up its offices and getting itself organized, "used to joke among ourselves that we were trying to build the boat while we were steaming down the river."

The regulatory dialog with the banking industry often hinges on who is talking, Olson points out. Differing messages were sometimes heard by CFPB staff from compliance bankers, versus lines of business bankers. In the same way, bankers heard different kinds of messages when hearing from regulation developers versus enforcement staff versus examiners.

Olson says a good tip for working with bureau staff is to consider what perspective they bring - examination, enforcement, etc. - and to always remember they are people doing a job.

"Chances are doing that job because they believe they are making the world a better place," says Olson. "But its still a job. They are not out there to get you, but to do their job. They have a boss and an org chart and a performance plan. If the organization is out to get you or your industry, then, of course, you have a problem."

Adds Olson: "Unless you are in enforcement negotiations, then you should want - and you need - to help the CFPB staff get their jobs done. Chances are the work with get done with or without your cooperation, but you will get a better final product if you participate."

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