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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced its five-year Strategic Plan—a dial-back of Dodd-Frank—with three objectives:

  1. “Ensure that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services.”
  1. “Implement and enforce the law consistently to ensure that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.”
  1. “Foster operational excellence through efficient and effective processes, governance, and security of resources of information.”

Of note is the language and order of the Plan, which differs from the agency’s 2013-2017 strategy:

  1. “Prevent financial harm to consumers while promoting good practices that benefit them.”
  1. “Empower consumers to live better financial lives.”
  1. “Inform the public, policymakers, and the CFPB’s own policy-making with data-driven analysis of consumer finance markets and consumer behavior.”
  1. “Advance the CFPB’s performance by maximizing resource productivity and enhancing impact.”

In consideration of its first objective, the organization is planning to “regularly identify and address outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations in order to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens.” Both Mulvaney and President Trump have been forthcoming with their opposition of over-regulation, and critics contend that the agency’s former director, Richard Cordray, was too aggressive in enforcing Dodd-Frank.

“If there is one way to summarize the strategic changes occurring at the Bureau, it is this: we have committed to fulfill the Bureau’s statutory responsibilities, but go no further,” said Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the CFPB, in a statement. “By hewing to the statute, this Strategic Plan provides the Bureau a ready roadmap, a touchstone with a fixed meaning that should serve as a bulwark against the misuse of our unparalleled powers.”

According to the agency, it consulted Congress in the development of the plan, and it “draws directly from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” It has amended its mission to now “regulate the offering and provisions of consumer financial products or services under the federal consumer financial laws and to educate and empower consumers to make better informed financial decisions,” and its vision to “free, innovative, competitive, and transparent consumer finance markets where the rights of all parties are protected by the rule of law and where consumers are free to choose the products and services that best fit their individual needs.”

To carry out its objectives, the agency intends to “seek the counsel of others; make decisions after carefully considering the evidence; equally protect the legal rights of all; confidently do what is right; and act with humility and moderation.”

Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.

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