The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has called out 10 banks and credit unions for a lack of transparency in their agreements with large universities to market financial products to students.
Rohit Chopra, the CFPB's student loan ombudsman, confirmed that 10 of the 11 institutions involved in such partnerships have either not disclosed or only partially disclosed their agreements online. Only Hills Bank & Trust Co., partnered with the University of Iowa, appears to have made the entire agreement easily available.
Regulation in 2009 curtailed on-campus credit card marketing and mandated public disclosure of schools' agreements with card issuers and student lenders. However, the CFPB remains concerned about a lack of easily accessible information about agreements for all types of financial products. In December, it cautioned financial institutions about secretly paying schools in order to promote other products like deposit accounts, prepaid cards, and debit cards to students. The agency is now encouraging students to tell the CFPB about whether they can find the contract between their university and financial institution.