What Is the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA)?

The term Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) refers to a trade organization that represents financial institutions in the United States. The CBA was founded in 1919 and focuses exclusively on the retail banking sector.

The association's membership is comprised of the country's largest banks and organizations that provide retail banks with goods and services. The CBA provides educational courses, industry research, and federal and state-level representation on issues that relate to consumer banking. It is recognized as a voice on retail banking issues in the nation's capital and provides financial resources and education to help bankers stay on top of retail banking industry practices.

Key Takeaways

  • The Consumer Bankers Association is a trade organization that represents financial institutions in the United States.
  • The association was founded in 1919 and focuses on retail banking.
  • Its membership is comprised of the country's largest banks and organizations that provide retail banks with goods and services.
  • The CBA provides educational courses, industry research, and federal and state-level representation on issues relating to consumer banking.
  • It is recognized as a voice on retail banking issues in the nation's capital and provides financial resources and education to help bankers stay on top of industry practices.

Understanding the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA)

The CBA was founded in 1919 as the Morris Plan Bankers Association. Morris developed initiatives to help the average American access financing and was a driving force behind the installment credit system. The organization changed its name to the Consumer Bankers Association a few years later.

The CBA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is made up of some of the biggest banks in the country. As many as 85% of these corporate members include banks with assets of $10 billion or more. The CBA's associate members include companies that provide goods and services to the nation's banks. Membership renewal rates for the organization typically remain above 90%.

CBA member banks hold a combined total of $14.5 trillion in assets. This equals about 79% of all bank, thrift, and bank holding company assets in the United States. The CBA is sponsored by a variety of financial companies, including Equifax, Experian, Visa, FICO, Upstart, Innovis, and VantageScore.

As noted above, the CBA "partners with the nation's leading retail banks to promote sound policy, prepare the next generation of bankers, and finance the dreams of consumers and small businesses." Its primary goals include:

  • Member and consumer advocacy with regulators and legislators at the federal level
  • Acting as a resource for analysis, engagement, and insight with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Providing consumers with communication about bank services
  • Educating future leaders of retail banking.

The association has 14 different standing committees, subcommittees, and other groups that bring together executives from member banks.

Special Considerations

The CBA team consists of an executive branch as well as a number of teams that oversee the following branches:

  • Government relations
  • CBA membership
  • Events and committees
  • Education
  • Communications and marketing
  • Administration.

The association's board of directors (B of D) is comprised of some of the retail banking industry's leading executives. Some of these board members work for notable banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Citi, TD Bank, BMO Harris Bank, and Santander.

CBA Live

The organization hosts an annual conference called CBA Live. The first one was held in 2011. It is a three-day event organized by the CBA's different subcommittees, standing committees, and working groups.