Protecting consumers from threats part of discussion on regulatory modernization in Tuesday CFPB taskforce session

Protecting consumers from “new threats” while enabling financial services providers to develop new, better ways to serve consumer needs will be a key part of a discussion on regulatory modernization and flexibility among a taskforce session Tuesday on federal consumer financial law.

The taskforce, sponsored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will also consider other topics during the discussion on regulatory modernization and flexibility at its Tuesday gathering. The bureau released the taskforce agenda and discussion topics Monday. The topics include:

  • the impact on consumer financial protection and the status of the current dual system of state and federal jurisdiction over instantly connecting consumers to financial service providers via the Internet and smart phones;
  • creation of a system that is responsive to acute market disruptions (such as the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 2008 financial collapse, and the coronavirus crisis) while providing a regulatory framework for consumers that can “quickly adjust and provide regulatory flexibilities.”

The CFPB’s Taskforce on Consumer Financial Protection Law is meeting with the bureau’s three advisory groups – representing credit unions, community banks and consumers at large – via conference call Tuesday. The joint meeting is intended to share recommendations on improvements to the current state of federal consumer protection laws, regulations, and practices. The three advisory groups, specifically, are the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), the Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), and the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB).

Last October, the bureau announced it would establish the taskforce that would be charged with “examining ways to harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws” by studying the existing legal and regulatory environment facing both consumers and financial services providers. The group is charged with reporting back to bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger.

The model for the group – which ultimately counted five members – is a commission established by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1968. “In addition to various changes to consumer law generally, the Act established a national commission to conduct original research and provide Congress with recommendations relating to the regulation of consumer credit,” the agency said in when it announced the establishment of the task force last year.

Other discussion topics to be held during the Tuesday meeting include:

  • Legal framework of consumer protection (including consideration of inadequacies of consumer protection laws, and how the bureau can use its rulemaking powers “effectively to maximize consumer welfare”).
  • Consumer information and education.
  • Competition and innovation (including consider of conditions “limiting competition among financial institutions responding to consumer needs”).
  • Inclusion and access (including what federal regulatory issues should be addressed to promote greater access to consumer financial products and/or services to traditionally underserved or unbanked individuals).

Additionally, many of the discussion areas include some aspects of the impact of relatively new financial technology firms (fintechs) on subjects at hand.

The joint session of the groups with the taskforce begins at 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday and is scheduled to run for two hours. Advance registration is required.

CBAC, CUAC, CAB to meet with taskforce on consumer law (Federal Register notice)