This Watchdog Looks Feisty Again
Bloomberg Businessweek|March 29 - April 05, 2021
Under new management, the CFPB is knocking on banks’ doors and asking questions
Pat Regnier

America’s personal-money watchdog is beginning to stir once again.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crisis. Its mandate: to make sure financial products such as loans aren’t designed to trick people into onerous debt or high fees. The CFPB was hobbled by its own leaders during the Trump years, to the glee of many in the financial industry, who argued that the agency had been given too much unaccountable power.

President Biden’s nominee to lead the CFPB, Rohit Chopra, is expected to win Senate confirmation within weeks. But the regulator is already sending a message that it’s getting tougher. On-site examinations are up, banking executives tell consultants. Student lending, subprime auto loans, debt collection, mortgage services, and payday loans are all expected to come under renewed scrutiny, analysts say.

For a time during the Trump administration, the CFPB’s acting director was Mick Mulvaney, who’d previously described the agency as a “sick, sad” joke. Over the past four years the bureau has generated about $2.3 billion in consumer relief through enforcement actions, compared with more than $10 billion in the prior four years. Chopra is likely to be more in tune with the original activist mission of the CFPB. He was the bureau’s assistant director under Obama-era chief Richard Cordray and is an ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat credited with conceiving of the CFPB and helping to set it up.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

Changpeng Zhao – “I don't really care much about money”

Critics say Changpeng Zhao became the wealthiest man in crypto by operating the equivalent of an unlicensed casino. He says that’s all in the past

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

Where Ultrafast Delivery Still Zooms

India’s so-called quick commerce is soaring, but high cash burn may clip the startups’ wings

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

The Other NBA Draft

League officials, investors, and Barack Obama are betting they can make basketball Africa’s second-biggest sport—and Africa basketball’s most valuable growth market

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

TikTok Turns On the Money Machine

The ad revenue is already flowing, and e-commerce is next

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

The Scuffle Over Your Stock Trades

The SEC’s ideas to change how markets work could shake up the brokerage business

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

The Global Currency War Begins

Desperate to tame inflation, central bankers are vying for more buying power

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

Spotify's Long, Winding, and Pricey Journey Into Podcasting Is Very Much Not Over Yet

The company spent $1 billion on studios and top-tier talent. Now it wants to be podcaster for the everyman

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

Is China At Peak Property?

An extended slump in home sales may be a bigger drag on growth this year than lockdowns

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

FLUBBED

Inflation blunders have strained the trust that anchored the dollar and other currencies for decades

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022

Elon Musk's Sober Outlook

The billionaire Tesla chief cast a shadow over prospects for the US economy and the Twitter deal

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek US
June 27, 2022
RELATED STORIES

TWITTER TO PAY $150M PENALTY OVER PRIVACY OF USERS' DATA

Twitter will pay a $150 million penalty and put in new safeguards to settle federal regulators’ allegations that the social platform failed to protect the privacy of users’ data over a six-year span.

2 mins read
Techlife News
May 28, 2022

JUDGE SAYS FTC'S ANTITRUST CASE AGAINST FACEBOOK CAN PROCEED

A federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust suit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, can proceed, shutting down the social media company’s request for a dismissal.

1 min read
Techlife News
15, January 2022

BANKS SLOWLY RECONSIDER OVERDRAFT FEES, AMID PUBLIC PRESSURE

The banking industry appears to have overdone it on overdraft fees.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #529

FTC ORDERS COMPANY TO QUIT SURVEILLANCE APP BUSINESS

The Federal Trade Commission has for the first time banned a company that makes so-called stalker were — software used to surreptitiously track a cellphone user’s activities and location — from continuing in the surveillance app business.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #514

TIKTOK TIGHTENS PRIVACY FEATURES FOR YOUNGER USERS

A month after federal regulators ordered it to disclose how its practices affect children and teenagers, TikTok is tightening its privacy practices for the under-18 crowd.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #481

AGENCY HOMING IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES' DATA COLLECTION

Federal regulators are ordering Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok’s parent and five other social media companies to provide detailed information on how they collect and use consumers’ personal data and how their practices affect children and teens.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #477

Q & A: WHAT'S NEXT FOR FACEBOOK IN THE ANTITRUST CASE?

Could Facebook be forced to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram?

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #477

US GOVT, STATES SUE FACEBOOK FOR ‘PREDATORY' CONDUCT

The U.S. government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook Wednesday, accusing it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of the social network’s Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services.

4 mins read
Techlife News
December 12, 2020

FTC SAYS ZOOM MISLED USERS ON ITS SECURITY FOR MEETINGS

Federal regulators are requiring Zoom to strengthen its security in a proposed settlement of allegations that the video conferencing service misled users about its level of security for meetings.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
November 13, 2020

Financial Service Firms That Treat You Like a Star

As a personal finance publication, we spend a lot of time evaluating the numbers when we recommend financial institutions and their products. We spotlight banks that offer high-interest rates and low fees on checking and savings accounts, and we note credit card issuers that provide ample cash back or points on everyday spending. When you’re in the market for a mortgage, we encourage you to shop for a low-interest rate, and we advise you to regularly compare premiums on home and auto insurance policies. // But many would argue that exceptional customer service is just as important as low fees or competitive interest rates. An insurance company is worth its weight in gold if its agents are responsive and fair when you’re dealing with a damaged car or home. A mortgage lender that helps pave the way to a smooth close on a home purchase can save you a lot of headaches. And banks and credit card issuers with strong customer service teams can quickly put a lid on fraudulent activity or other problems with your accounts.

10+ mins read
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
December 2020