CU: Don’t cut Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Consumers Union to Congress: Don’t Cut Consumer Financial Protection Agency

WASHINGTON– In a letter sent today to members of the House of Representatives, Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, called on lawmakers to oppose proposed funding cuts to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The letter comes as the House prepares to take action on this year’s continuing resolution (CR) that could negatively impact the CFPB’s ability to operate.
The pending funding bill includes a controversial provision that would effectively slash the new CFPB’s proposed budget by 40 percent before it can even undertake its job of protecting American consumers from predatory financial practices. In addition to urging lawmakers to oppose the budget reduction in section 1517, the letter encouraged legislators to oppose any additional amendments that aim to weaken the authority and the ability of the CFPB to fulfill its mandate. The consumer group also voiced support for those efforts aimed at restoring CFPB funding and enabling the bureau to safeguard consumers.
Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union said, “The cuts proposed by section 1517 would severely undercut the bureau’s ability to carry out its mission. Abusive overdraft fees, mortgage loans, credit cards and student loans would once again go unchecked, exposing even more consumers to dangerous financial practices and potentially stalling our country’s economic recovery,” said Pamela Banks, Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union.
The CFPB was established as part of the financial reform package signed by President Obama last year. Beginning in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be charged with identifying and stopping unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the sale and delivery of financial services to consumers. The CFPB will have the responsibility to keep the rules governing financial service products up-to-date and to respond to consumer complaints.
“Congress made clear its intent to create an independent agency with the responsibility to make the financial marketplace safe for consumers. In order to make this mandate a reality, it is critical that the House reject efforts to politicize the CFPB and instead vote to ensure that the CFPB has the funds it needs to look out for consumers’ interests,” Banks said.
Contact
Kara Kelber, kkelber@consumer.org