I first heard about this U.S. government agency in 2011.
I haven’t been following the CFPB very closely over the last two years. So I did some research this weekend to update myself on its work.
Here’s some background: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was set up to regulate financial products and services in the U.S. It was organized by Elizabeth Warren, my favorite bankruptcy expert. The CFPB celebrated its 2nd birthday on July 22. And here’s an infographic/summary of its accomplishments thus far.
The agency has done a lot in the areas of consumer education, transparency of credit cards and loan agreements, and fielding thousands of complaints from the public regarding financial institutions and services.
The CFPB has some ambitious goals coming up for 2014.
Its current efforts include:
- making policy changes more understandable to the public, example: their blog post regarding the recent changes in federal student loan interest rates provides clear explanations and lays out the numbers in black and white (and green);
- furthering financial education for veterans and the economically vulnerable through nationwide coordination of financial coaching services starting in 2014;
- publishing and distributing a tool-kit for public service workers to navigate student loan forgiveness programs (their cheat sheet is something I will be sharing with the many teachers, nurses, and community service workers I know);
- serving as a direct personal finance resource through the Ask CFPB section of its website;
- partnering with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to coordinate more robust and accessible financial services for people with disabilities;
- making the terms of financial products more transparent to consumers, example: their database of credit card agreements.