The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it will establish an Office of Financial Institutions and Business Liaison headed by former Freddie Mac official Dan Smith to counter claims of bureau bias against banks and to address a perceived lack of transparency. The CFPB says the office is intended to "enhance collaboration and communication" with financial institutions, trade associations, and businesses. "The fact that the CFPB is now putting together an office whose sole directive is to engage the industry...that's just a reflection on the culture of engagement and being transparent," says Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens. CFPB Acting Deputy Director Steve Antonakes said at a recent American Bankers Association conference that the bureau is tasked with creating a level playing field between banks and non-bank entities relative to compliance with federal consumer financial laws. "Accordingly, we have begun to implement a prioritization framework that allocates our examination, investigation, and fair lending resources across product types," he noted.