The CFPB has entered into a partnership with another local government. According to a New York City press release, on April 2, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and CFPB Director Cordray announced a partnership between New York City, the CFPB, and the Mayor’s Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund to help cities around the country enhance their local consumer protection and financial empowerment abilities. The CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, and implement programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources.
The City’s Department of Consumer Affairs operates a network of Financial Empowerment Centers that provide free financial counseling and education to low-income New Yorkers. According to the press release, the Financial Empowerment Center initiative is being replicated in five cities across the nation (Denver, CO; Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; and San Antonio, TX) through a three-year pilot program funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies through the CFE Fund.
Through their partnership, New York City and the CFE Fund will work with the CFPB to expand this model to other cities and assist them in identifying opportunities for using their municipal powers to protect and empower consumers in the financial services marketplace.
The CFPB has previously announced partnerships with the Cities of Chicago and Newark and a tribal government, the Navajo Nation. (Unlike these partnerships, an announcement of the CFPB’s partnership with New York City has not yet appeared on the CFPB’s website.)
The other CFPB partnerships have been designed to leverage the CFPB’s enforcement capability. While the New York City press release includes references to enforcement, it is unclear what role enforcement is intended to play in the City’s partnership with the CFPB.