The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What Is It? And Why Do We Need to Know?

If a regulatory agency could be compared to a heavyweight boxer or a superhero, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been perceived by proponents as a tough and scrappy champion, fighting for the average consumer.

The Bureau’s purpose is to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices, and to take action against companies that break the law. It was created to ensure that “companies all play by the same consumer protection rules and compete fairly on providing quality and service.”

Over the last six years, the agency has worked to make consumer financial markets work for responsible providers, consumers, and the economy as a whole.

But the agency, created during President Obama’s tenure, is up now up against a new administration, determined new adversaries, and powerful forces advocating for deregulation. The bureau has been criticized by financial lobbyists, Republican leaders, and judges who claim the bureau has overstepped its authority.

In this contentious climate, the coming year may bring some change to the Bureau and perhaps alter the way it operates. In this article, we’ll take a look at the agency, what it does, how it relates to the AR ...

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