According to a recent report from the FHFA Office of the Inspector General, the Agency's budget review and approval process has fallen short of achieving the FHFA's stated purpose due to a number of factors that include late timing, cursory-level analysis, and inadequate resources. That stated purpose is aligning Enterprise spending with FHFA’s strategic direction and safety and soundness priorities. The GSEs' combined budget for 2015 totals 5 point1 billion dollars, an increase of 31 percent from 2012.
The Inspector General made four recommendations to the FHFA to improve its process of reviewing the GSE budget. Among those recommendations were directing both Enterprises to submit an operating budget and supporting materials for the following fiscal year in order to give FHFA sufficient time to adequately analyze the proposals before the next fiscal year begins. FHFA agreed with three out of the four recommendations and, quote, generally agreed, close quote, with one.
In an effort to hold consumer financial companies more accountable, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering a proposal that would prevent companies from using free pass arbitration clauses that would prevent consumers from bringing class action lawsuits to obtain relief. These arbitration clauses generally deny consumers the right to sue companies in groups. Companies can use the free pass to avoid class action lawsuits from consumers that would require them to hand out big refunds.