As reported in the American Banker, the CFPB “settled a lawsuit brought by a group of consumer advocates that alleged former CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, a Trump appointee, violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act when she created a task force of outside experts. The act says federal advisory committees must be essential, in the public interest, fairly balanced and structured to avoid inappropriate influence.”

The Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law was announced in January 2020 and consisted of five members, William MacLeod, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP, Past Chair of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, and former Bureau Director at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Dr. J. Howard Beales, III; Dr. Thomas Durkin, Senior Economist (Retired) at the Federal Reserve Board; L. Jean Noonan, Partner at Hudson Cook; and Todd J. Zywicki (Taskforce chair), Professor of Law at George Mason University (GMU) Antonin Scalia Law School and Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute.

In June 2020, CDIA filed a comment to the Task Force, and in January 2021, the Task Force announced its two-volume report.

According to the Banker, the CFPB settlement

puts to bed a potential legal headache for the Biden-era CFPB, but more importantly for Chopra it could neutralize the policy recommendations the task force issued in January and make it easier for him to advance a more pro-consumer agenda.

. . .

The settlement states that the CFPB failed to comply with FACA’s requirements in creating and operating the task force. Its two reports issued in January now must include a prominent warning label in bold red font stating that the task force violated FACA.

The settlement may remove any imprimatur the report may have as a government-sanctioned document.