The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is initiating a process for streamlining and updating its consumer regulations with bureau officials seeking public input on which rules should be looked at first.

"We're asking the public to help us identify and prioritize concrete ways that we can streamline the regulations we inherited so that they work better for consumers and the firms that serve them,” said Raj Date, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury assigned to the CFPB.

In creating the new consumer bureau, Congress charged the CFPB with reducing "unwarranted regulatory burden" by updating, modifying or eliminating regulatory provisions.

The Dodd-Frank Act also authorized the CFPB to make "adjustments and exceptions to statutory requirements where necessary or appropriate to facilitate compliance."

In a Federal Register notice seeking public input, the bureau says it may relax, reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements based on the size of the providers, especially small ones. “Our goal is to make it easier for banks, credit unions and others to follow the rules,” Date said.

The CFPB is seeking public comment on its regulatory streamlining initiative for 120 days.

In related news, the House Financial Services Committee is asking the new CFPB for a detailed account of its spending to date, and plans for funds it has received but not yet spent.

The Nov. 22 letter said the committee had received information from the Federal Reserve that the bureau has requested $28 million more from the Fed for fiscal year 2011, a 21% increase from the $142 million budget estimated by the White House.

The committee asked for a detailed account of transfers from the Fed, by quarter; expenses by quarter, by kind of service; expenses by each department, office or subdivision of the bureau; number of positions filled by quarter and by pay band, as well as detailed salary information and organizational charts; a detailed construction and renovation budget for its future offices, which will be located at the former Office of Thrift Supervision.

The letter from Chairman Spencer Bachus also asked for quarterly reports of Fed transfers on an ongoing basis, a five-year capital plan, and a detail construction report for fiscal year 2012.

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