Kraninger Speech Outlines CFPB Strategy

On April 17, 2019, new CFPB Director, Kathleen Kraninger presenter her first public speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center.  In this speech, Director Kraninger outlined her agenda for the direction of the CFPB by explaining that she intends to utilize all available tools to prevent consumer harm including education, regulation, supervision, and enforcement.  The speech began by discussing how the CFPB hopes to use education to improve consumer financial skills and to “move the needle on the number of Americans in this country who can cover a financial shock, like a $400 emergency.”

Regarding regulation, Director Kraninger explained that, under her leadership, the “CFPB will proceed deliberately and transparently” when establishing new rules.  She explained that one example of this will be found in an upcoming proposed rule to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is planned to be released within the coming weeks.  In this rule, the CFPB plans to propose “clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls [consumers] may receive from debt collectors on a weekly basis” as well as “provide clarity on how collectors may communicate via newer technology such as email or text messages.”

While discussing supervision, Director Kraninger explained that she has challenged CFPB examiners to take a fresh look at the supervision process to ensure that a “culture of compliance means working confidentially in a back-and-forth process with a financial institution to prevent consumer harm until the institution demonstrates that process won’t work for them” so that the CFPB does “not impose unmanageable burdens [upon financial institutions] while performing our duties.”  

Just before the conclusion of her speech, Director Kraninger announced a new “symposia series” that will occur over the coming year on a variety of topics.  The first topic for this series will be focused on clarifying the meaning of “abusive” acts or practices, as established by the Dodd-Frank Act. The plan with the symposia series is to “facilitate a robust discussion by experts on the given topic in a public forum.”

The full transcript of the speech can be found here.

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