News

New US financial watchdog launched

22 Jul 2011

The long-awaited Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors on 21 July 2011 in the US. This new federal agency was established under the 'Dodd-Frank' Act, which sought to reform financial regulation in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.


As is still the case in many countries, responsibility for regulating financial services was spread across a number of different agencies. This will now be brought under one roof with the creation of the CFPB, in a move welcomed by many including Consumers Union, CI's member in the US.

 

Interactive CFPB graphic

The Bureau's full mandate, enforcement powers and potential are nicely summarised in this graphic of CFPB by CNN.

 

 

Controversy

The process leading up to the launch of the CFPB has not been without considerable controversy. Hostile legislators and Wall Street lobbyists have been fighting hard to undermine the fledgling agency its powers. This included blocking the appointment of Elizabeth Warren, President Obama's choice to lead an agency that was her brain-child, and which she has been at the forefront of setting up.

US consumer groups are now pushing for a speedy confirmation of Richard Cordray, President Obama's nominee for Director of the CFPB, so that the CFPB can be fully operational and realise its full powers to protect financial-services consumers.

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