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A look at some of the CFPB's regulatory powers

Nov 03, 2011 Philip Burgess

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a much-debated federal agency tasked with overseeing and enforcing regulatory standards in the finance and banking sectors. It was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act and is beginning to take its first steps as a government agency. The CFPB has received a slew of criticism mainly due its extensive regulatory powers. Critics argue they are too broad and may end up hindering market growth. Time will tell exactly how the CFPB enforces consumer finance standards, but it may be worthwhile to take a look at some of its capabilities. Currently, the agency can examine large banks (with consolidated assets of more than $10 billion), mortgage companies, short term lenders and private education lenders, according to the Huffington Post. However, this list may expand over the next few years to include consumer credit reporting agencies, debt collection firms, debt management and settlement companies, consumer credit and finance groups, money transmission and check cashing companies and organizations offering prepaid card products. "It appears that consumers may, at least indirectly, have considerable influence over the CFPB's examination program and processes," adds Kevin Petrasic for the source.