U.S. consumer watchdog sets ambitious agenda to focus on large technology companies and loan competition Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: The seal of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was seen at its headquarters in Washington, USA on May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Author: Katanga Johnson and Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-Rohit Chopra, the chief consumer finance regulator, told US lawmakers on Wednesday that his agency wants to minimize foreclosures for troubled US homeowners and make consumer loans more competitive.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will also review the efforts of technology giants to better control the flow of funds in the economy; these “big technology” companies usually provide real-time consumer payment systems, which control large amounts of consumer data.

Moreover, it will strengthen the focus of law enforcement against companies that have repeatedly violated the Consumer Finance Law.

Chopra is a long-time consumer advocate hired by Democratic President Joe Biden to help address inequality in loans, and his first hearing as the CFPB director before members of the House Financial Services Committee The above outlines an ambitious agenda because of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on the economy.

“In many areas of the country and many individual communities, the situation is still very fragile,” Chopra told the panel. “Many families continue to work hard to pay mortgages and rents. Many small businesses are facing serious challenges in maintaining their livelihoods.”

The emergence of Chopra may revive the CFPB’s status as a political lightning rod. Since the establishment of the agency, Republicans have been trying to handcuff the agency, calling it too powerful and irresponsible.

“You inherited an agency that was undermined by the Trump administration, which is actively committed to reducing consumer protection and targeting predatory behavior to the most vulnerable groups,” U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (NYSE), chairman of the House panel 🙂 Say.

“Thank God, their efforts to eliminate CFPB were unsuccessful.”

Earlier this month, Chopra was sworn in as the full-time director of the CFPB, establishing his reputation as a fierce consumer advocate at the Federal Trade Commission, and helping Senator Elizabeth Warren establish the CFPB after its establishment in 2010.

Analysts said that Chopra’s record as a corporate critic and experience at the agency may make him a strong director.

Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at financial company BTIG, said: “This hearing should remind people of the bureau’s extensive authority and Director Chopra’s ability to use the bureau’s toolbox effectively. “

A few weeks after taking office, when the CFPB ordered https://www.reuters.com/technology/us-consumer-watchdog-orders-tech-giants-turn-over-information-payment-systems- 2021-10-21 Amazon ( Nasdaq stock code:), Apple (NASDAQ stock code:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:) Hand over information about how they collect and use consumer payment data.

He told lawmakers that the agency will pay close attention to practices that may hinder competition and pay attention to the “obstacles faced by small local financial institutions when they seek to challenge existing financial institutions, including large technology companies,”.

Promoting clarity is part of the growing focus of regulators and legislators on the rapid adoption of technology in various financial products, from cryptocurrencies to new “buy before pay” loan products.

The Democratic Party’s top policy priorities include promoting competition in the consumer finance sector by requiring financial companies to give consumers more control over their financial data-a concept known as “open banking” https://www.reuters.com/ business/exclusive-white -house-target-bank-mergers-financial-data-with-competition-order-2021-07-09. “

Chopra stated that he is studying open banking regulations in other countries (especially the UK) and is eager to review the agency’s comments. Analysts said they expect the CFPB to advance the open banking rules first proposed by the agency under the leadership of the former Trump administration in the coming months.

“I think (open banking rulemaking) is expected to really ensure that the competitive environment is more intense; consumers have more choices; and it is not just a few incumbents who control everything,” Chopra said.

“At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect privacy, security and other vital things.”

Chopra’s broad agenda in the CFPB will also include revisiting https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/how-bidens-agencies-are-picking-apart-trumps-wall-street-friendly-measures-2021 -04-12 Several major rules under the leadership of the Republican Party were relaxed, especially in debt collection and payday loans.

Advocates are eager to see Chopra eliminate the industry-friendly changes brought about by the Republican Party and impose strict new rules on the market.

“We hope he can explain how he plans to strengthen CFPB’s efforts to protect consumers from credit report errors, mandatory arbitration, overdraft fees, and predatory loans,” said Michael, director of US PIRG, a consumer advocacy organization based in Washington. · Litt (Michael Litt) said.

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