Since opening for business in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) has focused on regulating consumer financial markets and protecting consumers through studying markets, educating consumers, and enforcement. While still in its infancy, it would be an understatement to say that the CFPB has been busy, as it’s been downright transformational.
Here are five things to know about the CFPB:
1. The name says it all. Consumers rule.
Unlike other government agencies that regulate financial institutions, the CFPB takes a consumer-centered approach in everything that it does. The CFPB structure and operations are designed so that the focus is on ensuring that banks and nonbanks comply with federal consumer financial laws and to detect and assess the risks to consumers that arise from these businesses.
As a result, the CFPB’s regulatory, supervisory, and investigatory powers have been used most frequently where there is a perception of greatest risk to consumers. CFPB Director Richard Cordray has summed up the Bureau’s focus as: “As the economy recovers, we want people to know they now have a new agency standing on their side, looking out for their interests, to help restore their confidence in the consumer financial marketplace.”
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