Under the leadership of Richard Cordray the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has worked diligently to create a level playing field in financial markets and safeguards fairness for consumers.
Meanwhile, the CFPB explains the key to achieving its goals is its division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending, which helps ensure compliance with federal consumer financial laws by supervising companies and bringing enforcement actions when appropriate.
Since opening our doors in July 2011, the CFPB ordered that almost $12 billion be returned to 29 million consumers and imposed about $600 million in civil penalties. The CFPB also shut down illegal practices, protecting other consumers from suffering similar financial harm in future years. Much of that can be tied to CFPB public enforcement actions, which are important and highly visible. However, those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the CFPB has been working to protect you from harm.
What can get missed is the CFPB supervisory work, which takes place almost entirely behind the scenes. While CFPB often obtains relief through that work, its primary goal is to prevent problems before they occur through consistent and steady attention.
The CFPB is the first federal agency that supervises both larger banks and the nonbank financial companies – like mortgage providers, payday lenders, credit reporting companies, and debt collectors. This means CFPB seeks to ensure that you receive the same level of protection whether you’re dealing with a bank or a nonbank. It also means CFPB has tens of thousands of companies it needs to keep tabs on with its limited resources.
Each year, the CFPB looks across the companies under our authority and assess where it can be the most effective in protecting you. the CFPB considered factors such as how big the product market is, the company’s market share, the riskiness to consumers of a particular company’s strategy and practices, along with prior regulatory history and consumer complaints. The result is the CFPB spends its time where we see the greatest risks to consumers.