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The consumer finance sector is in the middle of a technological reconstitution, with financial technology playing, arguably, its largest role in the history of global economics.

As such, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the creation of a new taskforce aimed at modernizing and harmonizing federal consumer financial legislation. The new working group, the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law, is actively seeking applications for members, according to information from the bureau. Members will be asked to examine the regulatory environment and the existing legal framework governing financial service providers and those they service and report ways to strengthen pertinent laws to Kathy Kraninger, the director of the CFPB.

“An objective and independent evaluation of our current regulatory framework to identify where there may be gaps or where regulation should be simplified or modernized is needed to help us more effectively carry out our mission of protecting consumers,” said Kraninger in a statement. “As we work to set up the taskforce, we encourage interested individuals to apply to be considered to be part of the taskforce.”

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“The taskforce will produce new research and legal analysis of consumer financial laws in the United States, focusing specifically on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the enumerated consumer credit laws—and their implementing regulations—and identifying gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research, ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products, and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance,” according to the announcement.

The CFPB is looking for members with expertise in: 

  • “Consumer protection;”
  • “Consumer financial products or services;”
  • “Significant expertise in analyzing consumer financial markets, laws, and regulations; and”
  • “A demonstrated record of senior public or academic service.”

Credit Union National Association Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said his organization is looking forward to being part of the process and working to improve the consumer finance landscape. “We appreciate that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking steps to examine and improve regulatory landscape surrounding consumer finance,” Donovan said. “We look forward to engaging with the Bureau’s new taskforce to ensure that credit unions can meet and uplift consumers’ financial interests.”

For information about becoming a member of the task force, click here.

According to information from the Federal Trade Commission, which has regulatory authority to protect consumers in non-bank related matters, the CFPB enforces financial protections, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Truth-in-Lending Act.

From Congress

Earlier this year, Sen. David Perdue introduced the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountability Act of 2019 to change the funding mechanism for the CFPB from Federal Reserve System transfers to an annual appropriation, according to Congressional records. “Under current law, the transfers from the Federal Reserve System permit the CFPB to be funded outside of the annual appropriations process,” reads the bill summary.

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