The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Up and Running

Today, July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officially launches.  The CFPB released a report earlier in the week to outline its progress since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act last year.

The report, "Building the CFPB,” begins with a letter from Professor Elizabeth Warren, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB, describing the work this past year to build a “strong foundation” for the Bureau before it officially assumed its role as “a cop on the beat.” 

Professor Warren states that one of the Bureau’s principal goals is to create “a level playing field where both parties to the transaction – the customer and the lender – can understand the terms of the deal, where the price and the risk of products are made clear, and where direct comparisons can be made from one product to another.”

The report then proceeds to summarize the Bureau’s statutory objectives, its progress thus far in increasing transparency in financial products such as mortgages and credit cards, and how it has already reached out to several sectors, including community banks, service members, and consumer advocates. 

The report outlines the Bureau’s structure and provides a short description of its six primary divisions and one-line biographies of its top officers.  This section additionally details the Bureau’s budget and funding, providing a break-down of how it has allocated funds requested from the Federal Reserve during its first eight months, as well as how it plans to spend its budget during the 2012 fiscal year.  The report ends with the CFPB’s commitment to being an accountable government agency.

The CFPB also recently released a report about credit reporting.  This report details how the credit scores consumer rely on are often different from the scores that are provided to creditors and how this practice can work against consumers.

A blog of the CFPB begins on the front page of the Citizen Works website at