Last week, U.S. PIRG, Americans for Financial Reform and AFR-member organizations filed the last comment letter in a seemingly never-ending series of 2018 Requests for Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Although there was no clear intent of this “Data Collections” RFI, we, and allied academic scholars, both inferred it as another opportunity for industry opponents of the CFPB to attack the Bureau’s consumer protection mission — this time by challenging its collection and use of data to evaluate and respond to financial marketplace problems that harm consumers. Here is an excerpt from our comment letter. You can download the full letter from this page.
“Our organizations represent the consumers, seniors, servicemembers, veterans, students and underrepresented communities across our nation who rely on the consumer protections that the CFPB was created to support and enforce. It is essential that the CFPB not retreat from its core mission to protect and inform consumers, and to make our financial markets more fair, accountable, transparent and competitive. Continued access, use, sharing and reuse of data is vital to carrying out this mission.
Our groups believe that to protect consumers in financial markets, data collection and evaluation play a critical role that must continue. We do not believe there is any reason for the Bureau to stop collecting information nor to restrict its reuse among the various offices and divisions of the Bureau. On the contrary, either action would make it harder for the Bureau to accomplish its main functions and underlying mission.”