CFPB Launches Task Force to ‘Harmonize’ and ‘Modernize’ Consumer Financial Laws

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is establishing a task force that will look for ways to improve and strengthen consumer financial laws and regulations.

The new Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law will examine the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and financial services providers and report its recommendations to Kathy Kraninger, director of the CFPB, the agency says in a release.

The task force will produce new research and legal analysis of consumer financial laws, focusing specifically on harmonizing, modernizing and updating the enumerated consumer credit laws and the implementing regulations.

It will also be charged with identifying gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research, ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products, and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance.

“An objective and independent evaluation of our current regulatory framework to identify where there may be gaps or where regulation should be simplified or modernized is needed to help us more effectively carry out our mission of protecting consumers,” Kraninger says. “As we work to set up the task force, we encourage interested individuals to apply to be considered to be part of the task force.”

The task force is in part inspired by an earlier commission established by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1968, the CFPB says.

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 commission’s report contains original empirical data, information, and analyses – all of which undergird the report’s final recommendations.

The data, findings, and recommendations from the commission were all made public and the report led to significant legislative and regulatory developments in consumer finance.

The new task force will be comprised of members with a broad range of expertise in the areas of consumer protection and consumer financial products or services; significant expertise in analyzing consumer financial markets, laws, and regulations; and a demonstrated record of senior public or academic service.

A search for members is currently underway.

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