What Is the Consumer Bankers Association?

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is a U.S. trade organization representing financial institutions offering retail lending products and services. The CBA is a retail banking interest group; it also 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 provide financial education programs and resources that help bankers stay on top of industry practices.

Understanding the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA)

The CBA was founded in 1919, and its members include some of the biggest banks in the nation. CBA member banks hold a combined total of $13.8 trillion in assets, amounting to about 67 percent of all bank, thrift and bank holding company assets in the U.S. Seventy-five percent of CBA member banks hold more than $10 billion each. Membership renewal rates typically remain above 90 percent.

CBA’s Goals

The CBA’s goals include interceding with federal legislators and regulatory agencies on behalf of member banks and their customers. The CBA also strives to get its members involved in its committees, working groups and subcommittees, which form the structure of the organization, and to provide education and training for the next generation of retail bankers. The CBA further seeks to offer Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) resources, engagement, insight, and analysis, and to perform outreach and marketing to American consumers on behalf of the nation’s retail banks.

CBA Live

CBA Live is the CBA’s annual conference; the first such conference was held in 2011. Prior to the debut of the CBA Live Conference, the CBA hosted eight separate yearly conferences, one for each of its eight member sectors. For example, auto-loan financing had its own conference, mortgage lending had its own conference, and so on. The consolidation of the eight yearly conferences into one large conference allowed CBA to make better use of its resources and boost attendance levels. In 2018, for example, 1,500 retail banking professionals attended CBA Live; among them were more than 650 industry leaders.

The conference is a three-day event at which each of the CBA’s 13 subcommittees, standing committees, and working groups organize portions of the programming. CBA leadership feels it has a responsibility to liven up the banking industry, and has banned formal attire at its conferences, in addition to other innovations such as scheduling more and shorter speaker addresses, inviting leaders from other industries to speak at the event, and encouraging nontraditional presentations. CBA Live strives for a one-to-one attendee-to-sponsor ratio.