Oversight, Regulation

BPC initiative recommends changes to increase efficacy of CFPB

cfpbA report released on Tuesday by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative provided recommendations for the CFPB to improve consumer protections, market efficiency and regulatory quality.

The report found that the CFPB could “easily demonstrate its commitment to transparency by emulating the transparency practices of other federal agencies,” and that through its emulation of best practices, the agency can “facilitate robust public participation in its regulatory efforts by both consumer groups and regulated entities.”

Additionally, the report found that when the agency operates in a transparent manner and solicits input from various stakeholders, results were usually positive. When the CFPB made unilateral decisions, however, the report found that the results were much more likely to be problematic.

During the review, which took nearly one year to conduct, the initiative met with the CFPB, federal and state regulators, regulated entities and consumer advocates.

The report recommended that the CFPB focus more on non-banks that provide consumer financial products and services, improve data security, use a rulemaking process more often that internal deliberation and enhance data request coordination efforts.

Eric Rodriguez, one of the co-chairs of the initiative’s Consumer Protection Task Force, said the watchdog is “enormously important” to consumer protection efforts.

“To date, the Bureau has taken an open and thoughtful approach to rulemaking, which will be important to continue this going forward,” Rodriguez said. “However, there are areas where the Bureau can do more to help consumers including investing in and regulating activities among non-banks and spending additional time and resources to investigate, authenticate and remedy consumer complaints.”

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