The CFPB announced this past Friday that it will establish a taskforce, the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law, to examine ways to harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws.

The taskforce will examine the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and financial services providers and make recommendations to the Bureau’s leadership for improving consumer financial laws and regulations.  The taskforce will produce new research and legal analysis of U.S. consumer financial laws, with a focus on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the enumerated consumer credit laws, and their implementing regulations, and identifying gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research, ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products, and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance.

The taskforce is in part inspired by an earlier commission established by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1968. In addition to various changes to consumer law generally, the Act established a national commission to conduct original research and provide Congress with recommendations relating to the regulation of consumer credit.  The commission’s report led to significant legislative and regulatory developments in consumer finance.

The taskforce will have a Chair and approximately six members.  It will also bring on individuals detailed from across the Bureau and federal government.  The Bureau is now accepting applications for members.  Members must have demonstrated records of senior public service and expertise in consumer finance, including:

  • Expertise in consumer protection and consumer financial products or services
  • Significant experience researching and analyzing consumer financial markets, laws, and regulations
  • Past record of senior public or academic service
  • Recognition for professional achievements and objectivity in economics, econometrics, or law

We applaud the Bureau for this very welcome announcement, which demonstrates the commitment of current Bureau leadership to improving the current consumer finance legal and regulatory environment for the benefit of both consumers and industry.