Warren defends Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Posted By Spring Eselgroth

By Scott Nishimura
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Elizabeth Warren at SABEW's annual conference in Dallas. Photo by Stuart Palley.

Elizabeth Warren, the Obama Administration official helping set up the controversial new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says there will be numerous checks on the agency’s power.

The agency’s rules can be overturned by Congress, Warren told SABEW members Friday. The agency also is the only banking regulator whose rules can be overruled by other agencies, she said.

“This is an extraordinary restraint,” she said.

And the bureau, which will be responsible beginning this summer for regulating mortgages, credit cards and other financial products, is the only banking regulator with expressed limits on its “ability to determine its own funding levels,” Warren said.

Warren defended the bureau’s mission, saying the proliferation of debt products and associated risks, complexity of fee structures and fine print, and regulator-shopping by the financial industry, made it necessary to put one agency in charge of regulating consumer credit.

The bureau’s rule-writing will focus on ensuring clarity and two questions consumers should ask when they’re considering loan products, Warren said: “Can I afford this thing, and can I get it somewhere else at a better deal?”

Warren didn’t directly answer a question about her prospects for taking over the agency.

“The intent here is to slow down the implementation of this agency,” she said. “What we’re trying to do here is make the price clear, make the risk clear, and make it easier for consumers to compare products.”

SABEW - Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University

555 North Central Ave, Suite 406 E, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248
Phone: (602)-496-7862

E-mail: sabew@sabew.org

©2001 - 2018 Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Inc.

SABEW Home