Earlier this week, the CFPB published in the Federal Register a request for comments on its plans to submit a request to the Office of Management and Budget for generic clearance of an information collection to assist the CFPB’s development of financial education initiatives.  According to the CFPB’s notice, the collection “will focus on identifying financial education and empowerment strategies, practices, and experiences that inform or improve consumer financial decision-making.”  Through the collection, the CFPB hopes to better understand what financial education and empowerment strategies are most effective.  The CFPB plans to collect the information through methods that include in-person meetings, focus groups, surveys and online discussion forums.  Comments on the CFPB’s request are due by
March 18, 2013. 

Also related to the CFPB’s financial education initiatives is another proposed information collection clearance already submitted to OMB titled  “Clearance for Consumer Attitudes, Understanding and Behaviors with Respect to Financial Services and Products.”  Initially proposed in March 2012, the proposed collection is a “yearly consumer research survey to better understand the attitudes, understanding, and behaviors of American adult consumers around issues of consumer finance.”  After conducting an initial baseline survey, the CFPB intends to use subsequent survey results to “assess consumers’ awareness of, engagement in, and the ultimate impact of, the Bureau’s efforts to educate and empower consumers to improve their financial decision-making skills and outcomes.” The CFPB plans to conduct the surveys through use of telephone calls and the Internet.  On December 27, 2012, the CFPB published in the Federal Register a renewed request  for comments on the proposed information collection.  Comments are due by January 28, 2013. 

While these proposed collections are unlikely to be controversial,  the CFPB’s request in June 2012 to OMB seeking generic clearance of the CFPB’s collection of information on compliance costs and other effects of regulations generated objections from several industry trade groups.