A new system to provide guidance to other agencies, both federal and state, with consumer financial protection responsibilities on how the federal consumer financial protection agency intends to enforce federal consumer financial law was announced Monday by the agency’s director.
In a blog post, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra wrote that the new system is intended to promote consistency among enforcers and fair competition in the market. He noted that the agency will issue Consumer Financial Protection Circulars to the broad set of state and federal government agencies responsible for enforcing federal consumer financial law.
“The CFPB is the principal regulator responsible for administering the federal consumer financial laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act, and many others,” Chopra wrote. “However, the CFPB is not the only enforcer of these laws. Enforcement responsibility is spread among a large set of state and federal government agencies to protect families and honest businesses together.”
The bureau director wrote that there is a risk that companies might encounter inconsistent enforcement strategies and approaches. “One of the CFPB’s statutory objectives is to ensure federal consumer financial law is enforced consistently regardless of the status of a person as a chartered bank or nonbank,” he stated.
“Many entities are subject to the jurisdiction of multiple agencies, and to maintain certainty of expectations for those companies with multiple regulators, it is important for state and federal government agencies to consistently enforce the laws that the CFPB administers,” Chopra added. “Consistency is also imperative to creating a level playing field between companies that compete in the same market but are subject to the jurisdiction of different enforcers.”
The bureau is beginning to identify issues that would benefit from clear and consistent enforcement, he wrote, adding that the agency intends to issue new Consumer Financial Protection Circulars to advance these goals.
“We strongly encourage enforcers of federal consumer financial law to contact us with suggestions for new Consumer Financial Protection Circulars,” he added.