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US Bancorp’s Davis Warns Against Overreaction to Consumer Bureau

Richard K. Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of US Bancorp, said banks shouldn’t “overreact” to the creation of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or worry about its effect on business.

“It is just simply timely and topical because it’s new and we haven’t had it before,” Davis said today at a conference of the Consumer Bankers Association in Orlando, Florida. “But don’t think it’s going to be that harmful.”

Davis, who heads Minneapolis-based US Bancorp, the fifth-largest U.S. lender by deposits, was one of the first major bank executives to meet with Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration adviser who was appointed to set up the new consumer regulator in September, according to her calendar.

“The original mandate of the CFPB was a good one, which is disclosure, transparency, clarity,” Davis said. “I love all of that, and I think they are making some progress there.”

Davis urged bankers to accept the new regulator although “we should push back when they are overreaching.” Davis added that he advised that approach regardless of who becomes the bureau’s first director.

“I think we probably ought to embrace it and move forward and work with whomever is in that position,” Davis said.

The consumer bureau needs a director in place by July 21 to assume its full powers under the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul. President Barack Obama hasn’t yet nominated anyone to the position.

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