Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4014 to clarify that privileged information that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives remains privileged throughout the supervision process.
I would like to commend my colleague from Michigan, Mr. HUIZENGA for bringing this bill forward. This issue has come up now in several congressional hearings, in the Oversight Committee, in the Senate Banking Committee and also in the Financial Institutions Subcommittee on which I sit.
Many institutions have expressed concern that there is no statutory protection of the attorney-client privilege for sensitive material that they turn over to the CFPB during the supervision process.
Director Cordray has testified that he would support a statutory extension of the attorney-client privilege to documents that the CFPB receives. This is standard for all of the banking regulators and it should be true for the CFPB as well.
It is critical that the process be an open exchange between the bureau and the entities it regulates. And that can only happen if the entities can trust that they aren't inadvertently waiving the privilege simply by turning documents over.
I would note that the CFPB office of the General Counsel has indicated in a recent memo that it would ensure that the privilege was not waived, but I know that the entities involved in the CFPB's regulator process would prefer that to be codified, and I would agree.
As it is currently drafted, the bill is identical to a bill introduced on a bipartisan basis in the other body. Both bills ensure that privilege is not waived when the CFPB receives sensitive information and when it shares that information with other agencies.
I support this bill and urge my colleagues to support it as well.