House Letter to CFPB on Utilizing the Civil Penalty Fund for Consumer Fraud & Scams Education

Director Chopra,

One of the pillars of The Dodd-Frank Act created and granted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the authority to ensure responsible practices in consumer finance. This authority includes providing clear information for informed decisions, protecting against unfair practices, addressing unnecessary regulations, enforcing consistent financial laws, and promoting transparent markets for enhanced access and innovation.1 Under your leadership, the CFPB has, on a number of occasions, directed its efforts toward initiatives that exceed the Bureau’s statutory authority. Your frequent use of enforcement actions, guidance, advisory opinions, and press releases forces financial institutions to treat these actions with the same weight as a formal rulemaking and introduces uncertainty into the financial services sector. Rather than effectively communicating to both regulated entities and consumers, this strategy sows confusion. It is imperative for the CFPB to follow Congressional intent and adhere to its core responsibilities, focusing on protecting consumers. One crucial area in which the Bureau can and should engage involves educating consumers on best practices for their financial wellbeing.

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