CFPB Task Force Chairman Defends Controversial Panel

The chairman of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Task Force on Consumer Financial Law this week defended the panel from charges that its membership is loaded with advocates of deregulation and pledged to hold an open hearing this summer.

“As part of our mandate, we are leveraging our combined 150 years of professional experience as well as the extensive expertise that exists within and outside of the Bureau,” said Todd Zywicki a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger organized the task force earlier this year; it is supposed to examine current consumer financial protection rules and laws to determine if they are effective. The task force has solicited public comment on that issue.

Zywicki said that he is committed to ensuring that the public has access to the task force though “transparent and inclusive engagements.” Zywicki said the task force will hold an open hearing this summer and will meet with CFPB advisory groups this fall. Those groups include a Credit Union Advisory Council.

However, critics of the Task Force on Consumer Financial Law said CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is evading requirements that the task force opens its meetings to the public. They also said that Kraninger loaded the task force with opponents of a strict financial regulatory regime.

Zywicki said the feedback the panel receives will be used in a two-volume report. The first volume will provide a “historical overview of consumer financial protection laws, analyze costs and benefits of financial products and services, outline redundancies and gaps in the current regulatory framework, and assess the current state of the laws and their influence on consumers and the marketplace.”

The second volume will include a set of recommendations on how to strengthen and improve financial rules and regulations. “All of this activity will be centered around the underlying principle of strengthening consumer protections in the financial marketplace, in accordance with our statutory mandate,” he said.


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