Governmental agencies such as the CIA, FDA, and EPA are familiar to most of us, and we have a general understanding of their focus. But how many of you have heard about the CFPB? If you are not currently familiar with the CFPB, don’t worry—you will likely soon be, as it will touch all of us in a variety of different ways.
This week, on July 21st, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is officially “open for business”—a year after the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became law. According to the CFPB website (www.consumerfinance.gov), the CFPB will work to make sure that consumers have the information they need to understand the terms of their agreements with financial companies. It will also work to make regulations and guidance as clear and streamlined as possible so providers of consumer financial products and services can follow the rules on their own.
[Related Articles: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau]
Among other things, the CFPB will:
- Create consumer protection laws, as well as supervise and enforce them
- Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
- Create a center to take consumer complaints
- Promote financial education
- Research consumer behavior
- Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
- Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance
In addition, the CFPB will also supervise credit reporting agencies (including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) as well as credit score developers such as FICO and VantageScore. While the official open date is this week, the CFPB has already been busy recruiting staff, creating the infrastructure required to launch and run a new agency, as well as prioritizing focus amidst their wide range of responsibilities. I for one specifically look forward to hearing about the areas of focus as it pertains to credit reporting and credit scoring.
Image: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, via Flickr