Advisory Panel to Help Strengthen Consumer Protections
On Sept. 27, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in conjunction with a public town hall event, swore-in the inaugural Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) in St. Louis. With over a decade of policy work on consumer protection, I am humbled to serve on the first CAB.
The CAB, required by the enabling Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, serves at the pleasure of the CFPB Director and includes 25 members across various sectors, including mainstream financial institutions, new-generation technologies, legal services, public policy, academia, and community financial empowerment. The members serve staggering terms, ranging from one to three years, and can serve a maximum of two terms.
Over the past year-plus of stand-alone operation, the CFPB has been building its staff, growing to over 900 individuals across various divisions within the Bureau. The CFPB has wide rulemaking jurisdiction, although its direct supervisory reach is limited to institutions with assets over $10 billion. In its brief history, it has developed:
- New consumer services & tools, such as the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper;
- New consumer protections for products and services such as remittances; and
- New (federal) oversight of financial industry players, such as payday lenders.
During FY2013, the CFPB is expected to delve headlong into issues very important to low- and moderate-income communities, including payday loans, bank overdraft/cash advance, and private student loans, among other areas of study and potential rulemaking.
To advise and consult the CFPB rulemaking process, the CAB has organized into task forces regarding payday lending/bank overdraft, student lending, qualified mortgages, debt collection, and fair lending practices in auto sales and financing.
The CFPB is committed to hearing from all stakeholders and developing a 21st-century approach to protecting and empowering consumers.
By Don Baylor, Jr., Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, Texas. Don also serves on the Policy Committee of NCTC’s Board of Managers.