Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Website

Feb 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Business and Finance

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched its website this week, in preparation for regulatory legislation scheduled to go into effect on July 21, 2011.

B81 Financial regulatory reform 300x218 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Website

President Barack Obama meeting with Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Sen. Chris Dodd, at the White House prior to a financial regulatory reform announcement on June 17, 2009.

The bureau’s creation implements the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203, H.R. 4173), a federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The act is so named because it was initially proposed on December 2, 2009, in the House by Barney Frank, and in the Senate Banking Committee by Chairman Chris Dodd. The act was passed in response to the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and to resulting calls for a Depression-scale overhaul of federal financial regulation.

Title X of the act established a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection within the Federal Reserve. The new Bureau regulates consumer financial products and services.

The Bureau will be headed by a director to be appointed by the President, with Senate approval, to serve a five-year term.

Although the Bureau is located within the Federal Reserve, it operates independently. The Fed is prohibited from impeding the responsibilities of the Bureau.

The Bureau is subject to financial audit by the Government Accountability Office, and must report to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee every two years.

The Bureau consists of five units:

Research
Community Affairs
Complaint Tracking and Collection
Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, to ensure equitable access to credit
Office of Financial Literacy, to promote financial literacy among consumers

The Bureau also includes a new Consumer Advisory Board, which assists the Bureau and informs it of emerging market trends. This Board is appointed by the Director of the Bureau, with at least six members recommended by regional Fed Presidents. President Obama has appointed Elizabeth Warren as an adviser to get the Bureau running. The new website features Warren prominently, which has generated some criticism in light of the fact Warren’s appointment has not yet met Senate approval.

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