On February 25, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) held a field hearing as part of America Saves Week to discuss financial education in the workplace, including how to deliver financial education to employees. During the field hearing, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who also serves as the FLEC vice chair, delivered remarks encouraging employers to voluntarily implement financial education programs for their employees.

Cordray characterized himself and the CFPB as just another employer leading by example through implementation of a financial education program that the CFPB hopes will serve as a set of best practices for other employers. Cordray stated that implementing such programs is the “smart thing for their employees and their businesses.” Cordray also noted that, “We can insist that from this day forward, both the public sector and the private sector in the United States will commit themselves to the concept that American citizens need to be fully capable of economic self-governance, just as we expect them to be able to participate on full and equal terms in our democratic system of government.”

In recognition of the varying ability of employers to devote resources to financial education, Cordray described a range of cost-effective practices that could be implemented at “little or no cost”, that “go beyond the basics”, and that are “more innovative in their approach.” We applaud the CFPB for its initiative and hope employers will respond positively to the CFPB’s call to action.

The text of Cordray’s remarks is available here. On March 11, Ballard lawyers will be conducting a webinar on, “The CFPB’s Financial Literacy Mandate: What It Means for Industry.” The webinar will include a discussion of the CFPB’s expectations that financial institutions will not only participate in the delivery of financial education resources developed by the CFPB, but will also take an active role in developing and implementing their own financial literacy initiatives. More information and a registration form is available here.