The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal agency in the United States that was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
The CFPB is responsible for ensuring that financial markets operate fairly and transparently for consumers. It has the authority to regulate financial institutions and to enforce consumer protection laws.
The CFPB’s primary responsibility is to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices by financial institutions. This includes banks, credit unions, payday lenders, debt collectors, and other financial companies. The agency also works to educate consumers about their financial rights and to promote financial literacy.
The CFPB has several key functions.
One of its primary functions is to enforce consumer protection laws. This includes investigating and prosecuting financial institutions that engage in unfair or deceptive practices. The agency also has the power to write and enforce rules to protect consumers. For example, it has issued rules related to mortgage lending, credit cards, and payday loans.
Another important function of the CFPB is to provide consumer education and financial literacy resources. The agency has developed a number of resources to help consumers understand their rights and make informed financial decisions. These resources include a consumer complaint database, which allows consumers to file complaints about financial institutions, as well as a range of educational materials and tools.
The CFPB also conducts research to inform its policymaking and to better understand consumer behavior. This research includes surveys and studies on topics such as debt collection, credit reporting, and student loans.
In addition to its regulatory and educational functions, the CFPB also has the power to supervise financial institutions. This includes conducting examinations of financial institutions to ensure they are complying with consumer protection laws and regulations.