Kraninger outlines her vision for CFPB’s future

In a speech yesterday outlining her vision for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Director Kathy Kraninger emphasized the importance of “… empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests, and choose the financial products and services that best fit their needs…” The full text of the speech is here.

Director Kraninger said that the CFPB’s tools to carry out its mission include education, regulation, supervision, and enforcement. Below are highlights on how the CFPB intends to use these tools.

  • The CFPB is convening a symposia series over the coming year on a variety of topics related to the Bureau’s mission. The first topic will be clarifying the meaning of “abusive” acts or practices. AFSA has long advocated for an “abusive” standard and intends to participate in the symposium on the topic.
  • In the coming weeks, the CFPB will release proposed debt collection rules. The proposal will include clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls that consumers may receive from debt collectors on a weekly basis. The proposed rules will also: (1) provide clarity on how collectors may communicate via newer technology, such as email or text messages; and (2) require that collectors provide consumers with more and better information at the outset of collection to help them identify debts and understand their options. AFSA will work with members to respond to the proposed rule when it is released.
  • Under Director Kraninger, the Bureau will continue to foster a culture of compliance. The CFPB is taking a fresh look at the whole supervision process―the prioritization and frequency of exams, the size of the exam teams, the days spent onsite, the systems and job aids that support the work, the time it takes to complete an exam and deliver a report, and how the Bureau empowers examiners to provide input on the exam process.
  • The Bureau recognizes that institutions may be examined by a variety of federal and state regulators. AFSA has emphasized the need to coordinate not just with other federal regulators, but with state regulators as well. The Director said her focus will be on strengthening the Bureau’s coordination and collaboration with its sister regulators.
  • A Federal Reserve report found that 40% of Americans turn to credit to cover a $400 emergency. The Director’s goal is to help Americans save enough so that they can cover a financial shock, like a $400 emergency. AFSA has discussed its Education Foundation’s MoneySKILL program with the Director, who expressed interest in learning more about it.

AFSA continues to support the CFPB in its mission to ensure that consumers have access to markets for consumers financial products and services, and that those markets are fair, transparent, and competitive. We look forward to our continued engagement with the Bureau on these issues.