CFPB officials say they strive to help banks comply with the agency's rules by publishing guidance and manuals used by its field examiners, and through webinars and other outreach.
Yet many in the industry say their relationships with the agency have grown strained as they attempt to work with inexperienced regulators who have had little preparation.
"It's unfortunate that banks are really kind of the training ground for examiners, but hopefully they are learning the nuances of the industry," Garwood said.
Hunt is president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, the leading trade group representing retail banking operations of the nation's biggest banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. The CBA loudly opposed the bureau when it was first proposed. Since Congress created it as part of a sweeping 2010 financial law, the trade group has pushed to limit its independence.
Banks and their allies in Congress, mostly Republican, vowed to block any nominee for director of the consumer agency until its leadership was divided between a bipartisan commission and Congress was given more control over its budget. President Barack Obama installed Cordray while Congress was in recess, so the appointment did not require lawmakers' approval.
The consumer agency's budget currently comes out of the Federal Reserve's profits, which otherwise would be returned to the Treasury. Banks in the Federal Reserve system paid $387 million in 2012 to fund the CFPB and the Office of Financial Research, a small advisory office inside the Treasury Department, the Fed said last week.
The CBA and other industry groups are still pushing for legislation that would transform the bureau's structure.
Meanwhile, experts say, the relationship between banks and the agency is growing more contentious as it feels its way through these early challenges. The re-election of President Barack Obama quashed many opponents' hopes of defanging the agency before it got to work.
"The CFPB went full-throttle into the field, and in some cases has yet to determine what it would view as problematic," said Jonathan Pompan, a banking attorney with Venable. "You've got folks who are looking at organizations for the first time and making potentially very significant findings" that could cost them millions of dollars, he said.
AP Business Writer Christina Rexrode in New York contributed to this report.
Daniel Wagner can be reached at www.twitter.com/wagnerreports
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