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Better Markets Urges CFBP Task Force to Help Consumers, not the Financial Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2020
Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or prussell@bettermarkets.com
 
Washington, D.C.  –  Stephen W. Hall, Legal Director and Securities Specialist for Better Markets, issued the following statement on the comment letter filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”), which calls on the Bureau’s taskforce on consumer protection law to help consumers and not cater to industry:
 
“Millions of Americans who rely on credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages need protection from predatory behavior in these markets. But time and time again over the last three years, the CFPB has turned its back on consumers and catered to the financial services industry. It has watered down its rules and gutted its enforcement program. It should come as no surprise, then, that this task force is more likely to follow the Bureau’s lead than to come up with strong, independent recommendations that will really improve consumer protection. 
 
“It’s not just the Bureau’s dismal track record that drives these concerns. The Bureau selected a chair for the task force who is fervently anti-regulation and even anti-CFPB, and it gave him final say over the group’s recommendations. And while the task force charter pays lip service to strengthening consumer protections, its overriding focus appears to be on reducing regulatory burdens, harmonizing rules, and promoting half-measures like consumer education.   
 
“In our comment letter and fact sheet, we detail the de-regulatory history of the Bureau under this administration and then call upon the task force to take a number of key steps. For example, they must broaden the membership to include unequivocal consumer advocates and operate the task force with total transparency. Above all, the task force must recognize that the single most important way for the Bureau to improve consumer protection is to embrace the core pillars of financial regulation that once guided the agency—strong rules, vigilant oversight, and aggressive enforcement. The bottom line is that fraud and abuse are still abundant in many financial services, and the Bureau doesn’t need a task force to figure out how best to protect consumers.
 
“We hope the task force proves us wrong and develops recommendations that truly advance the cause of consumer protection in meaningful ways. Time will tell.”
 
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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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