Most of us would consider it rude to constantly talk about someone’s impending death. And yet that’s precisely how we’ve been treating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since President Trump’s election.
On the latest episode of the Smart Compliance Podcast, our friend and collaborator Eric Johnson stopped by to talk about why automobile dealerships and lenders seem to be obsessed with federal efforts to “defang” or outright eliminate the CFPB. Eric is a partner at Hudson Cook’s Oklahoma office and a reliable authority on legal and compliance issues in the automotive industry. He told podcast host Kynzie Sims that it’s not morbid curiosity that fuels the conversation about the CFPB’s possible demise, but the desire for relief from a mounting team of regulators.
“It’s like a football player having his or her head on a swivel, always looking around to see where these possible attacks could be coming from,” he said. “One day, it may be the CFPB; the next, it may be the FTC or State Attorney General. And [it’s] not only where they’re coming from and what direction, but also what practices or operations those entities may be attacking, because one regulator may not attack the same issue or practice that another regulator may attack.”
Eric and Kynzie spoke at length about where dealers should focus their attention now, and what they can expect in the near future in terms of regulations. The two attorneys also discussed how an effective compliance management system not only keeps a dealer’s regulators and lenders happy, but provides a competitive advantage:
“As other dealerships implement a CMS and that becomes the expectation or the norm, then this dealer that doesn’t have CMS in place is perceived to be somewhat lacking. You know, they’re behind. They’re not keeping up in par with their competition.
It really makes the dealer a better-run dealership, a more compliant dealership. And in turn, that tends to make for happier customers and better repeat customers, less consumer complaints, [and] less sleepless nights on behalf of the owners or the managers that are running the dealership.”