NEW LIST: For CFPB’s birthday, the agency’s top 10 actions to protect consumers so far in 2023

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Supreme Court recently scheduled hearing to determine future of CFPB funding

WASHINGTON — In honor of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) 12th birthday on Friday, July 21, PIRG is releasing a list of the strongest actions the federal agency took in the first half of 2023 to protect U.S. consumers. The 10 highlighted measures show how crucial the agency is. However, it’s unclear whether the CFPB will get the funding it needs in the future to keep helping Americans resolve the myriad problems they encounter as consumers.

“Despite — or likely, because of — its record, the CFPB finds itself under attack by special interests intent on seeing it weakened,” said Ed Mierzwinski, senior director for federal consumer programs at PIRG.

The Supreme Court recently released its October term schedule, which includes oral arguments on October 3 in a case about the constitutionality of the CFPB’s funding. U.S. PIRG and other consumer advocates filed an amicus brief this spring in support of the CFPB.

“When Congress created the CFPB in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, it clearly used its constitutional authority to provide a reliable and annually capped source of funding for the agency to do its job,” said Mike Litt, consumer campaign director at PIRG. 

U.S. PIRG’s list details the following top 10 actions taken by the CFPB to protect consumers in 2023:

  1. Ordering Bank of America to pay nearly $200M for charging illegal fees, withholding credit card rewards and opening fake accounts
  2. Investigating the harms of medical credit cards
  3. Closely examining medical billing and collections practices
  4. Highlighting the unique risks of digital payment apps to servicemembers
  5. Advising consumers to transfer the billions of dollars stored on payment apps that might not have federal deposit insurance
  6. Providing guidance on what constitutes abusive conduct in financial markets
  7. Launching an inquiry into business practices of data brokers
  8. Uncovering illegal junk fees on bank accounts, mortgages and student and auto loans
  9. Monitoring and improving the credit card market
  10. Cracking down on subscription services that charge people who don’t want them

“Since opening its doors 12 years ago, the CFPB has recouped $17.5 billion for consumers, enforced consumer protection laws by taking more than 300 actions against companies and processed 4 million consumer complaints against financial companies. That’s a remarkable track record for any federal agency, especially one that hasn’t even hit its teenage years yet,” said Litt. “We need the government to ensure that the CFPB continues to get reliably funded to do its one job: protecting consumers,” 

Mike Litt is available for interviews on any of the topics in our list, or the CFPB in general.