Especially active in 2022, CFPB fined banks, stopped shoddy companies, returned money to consumers, launched a junk fees initiative, and processed consumer complaints
One of the best consumer actions in recent years is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011.
Established after the Great Recession of 2007-08 to set up one federal agency to help consumers with their financial issues, the CFPB has made great strides in improving the position of consumers in the marketplace. Previously, seven different federal agencies were responsible for consumer financial protection, but none viewed consumer financial protection as their top priority.
Examples of how the CFPB has benefitted consumers are it recouped about $16 billion for consumers, enforced consumer protection laws by taking more than 300 actions against companies, and processing more than 3 million consumer complaints against financial companies, according to PIRG, a consumer advocacy group.
While the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing how the CFPB is funded, it gets money from the Federal Reserve not a congressional authorization, the agency continues to rack up wins for consumers.
PIRG reports the CFPB has been especially active in 2022. In a new report, it describes the top 20 actions of the agency in 2022. They include:
- Ordering Wells Fargo to pay a record $3.7 billion.
- Launching an initiative to save Americans billions of dollars in junk fees.
- Paving the way for changes to medical debt reporting.
- Examining the marketplace to nip problems in the bud.
- Processing record numbers of consumer complaints.
- Holding the big three credit bureaus accountable for excuses, “deficiencies,” and failures.
- Increasing its focus on protecting consumers from shoddy data security practices.
- Launching an initiative to improve customer service at the big banks.
- Protecting servicemembers and military families.
- Raising troubling questions about banking cards on college campuses.
- Giving consumers more control over financial data.
- Examining for-profit colleges.
- Launching a new effort to collect auto lending data to better monitor the market.
- Spotlighting the problems with buy now, pay later plans.
- Warning about the rise of crypto scams.
- Looking at the impact of big tech’s entry into the payments space.
- Ensuring the fair use of algorithms.
- Halting negative credit reporting for survivors of human trafficking.
- Bolstering state enforcement of consumer protections.
- Making it easier for consumers to directly request regulatory changes.
For more information, see “Watching Wall Street: Top 20 Actions the CFPB Took in 2022 Making the Marketplace Safer for Consumers.”
It’s fortunate the CFPB can take more actions to benefit consumers under the Biden administration. When Donald Trump was president, he appointed leaders to the agency that thwarted its regulatory role. And now, Republican members of the House of Representatives are using their new majority to determine how they can hamstring the agency so it won’t come after their big bank and corporate friends.
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