Sept 14 - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has named Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union) as vice chairman of the federal agency's inaugural Consumer Advisory Board. Bynum will bring nearly three decades of experience in community development finance to the task of advising the agency in its efforts to help consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.
"I am deeply honored to be part of this important work to stabilize the nation's financial system, and ensure that people are not subjected to irresponsible and abusive financial practices," said Bynum. "I look forward to sharing the experience HOPE has gained as a regulated financial institution that has assisted thousands of families who had been victimized by deceptive terms and conditions."
"This group of experts truly represents the interests of the diverse people and communities we serve," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "The Consumer Advisory Board will be a key resource to the CFPB and I look forward to working with its members to further our mission to protect American consumers."
As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that established the CFPB to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards or using any number of other consumer financial products. This means ensuring that consumers get the information they need to make the financial decisions they believe are best for themselves and their families — that prices are clear up front, that risks are visible and that nothing is buried in fine print. In a market that works, consumers should be able to make direct comparisons among products and no provider should be able to build, or feel pressure to build, a business model around unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.
Advisory Board members will consult with the bureau on consumer financial issues and provide it with information about emerging trends and practices in the financial-services and financial-products industries. The board members were selected from more than 1,700 submissions, and include experts in consumer protection, financial services, community development, fair lending, civil rights and consumer financial products or services. They also represent depository institutions that primarily serve underserved communities, and they represent communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgage loans.
Bynum is the founding CEO of HOPE, one of the nation's leading community development financial institutions. Since 1994, HOPE has generated over $1.6 billion in financing that has benefited more than 120,000 residents in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and western Tennessee.
"The demand for HOPE's services has grown since the financial crisis and recession," said Bynum. "More and more communities lack access to banks and are preyed upon by high-priced payday lenders, pawn shops, cash-for-title operations, and installment loan companies. People need responsible, fair and affordable financial services now more than ever. The CFPB can help strike a better balance between regulation and profit, while ensuring that the abuses that led to the financial crisis don't happen again."
HOPE is a regional financial institution, community development intermediary and policy center that provides affordable financial services; leverages private, public and philanthropic resources; and engages in policy analysis in order to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid-South. Since 1994, HOPE's efforts have generated over $1.6 billion in financing and benefited more than 120,000 individuals in the Delta, Katrina-affected areas, and other distressed communities throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.