CFPB is eagerly awaiting the technology
Predicting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s agenda for 2022 based on this year’s rules is not as easy this year, as the office was without a permanent director until mid-October, when Rohit Chopra was sworn in.
The CFPB was quite open about this, noting in its statement on the spring 2021 regulatory agenda that it expected “that its new director, once confirmed, will further assess which regulatory measures the Bureau should prioritize for better. advancing our mission and mandate to protect consumers, particularly in light of the ongoing pandemic and resulting economic crisis and the Office’s commitment to promoting racial fairness. “
However, Chopra’s confirmation hearings give a good perspective on the year ahead. He noted the growing indebtedness of families and the growing number of Americans in financial difficulty as various mortgage and mortgage forgiveness programs come to an end.
He also put a lot of emphasis on the growing need to carefully examine the policies and actions of big tech companies as they deepen their depth into consumer financial services – including how they use personal data collected in transactions. , the criteria by which consumers can be kicked from their platforms, their compliance with consumer protection laws and whether they will seek to block new entrants to the business.
See: In his first official testimony, CFPB’s Chopra targets “big technology” as requiring more monitoring
It is not necessarily safe to say that rule making will follow complaints. On the one hand, the agenda of the administration and the director of the CFPB will have a great impact. This year, it is also driven by the hardships placed on people by the COVID pandemic – which appears to be gaining ground due to the omicron variant – as well as the overall political outlook of the Democratic administration.
Notably, mortgage forbearance programs began to run out in the third quarter, which is likely reflected in the heavy focus on mortgages this year. The same political analysis applies to loans.
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Looking at complaints from 2021 through December 1, credit reports accounted for some 276,000 complaints, well over half of the 443,000 complaints received by the CFPB through December 1 of this year.
Debt collection was next at 64,000, followed by credit cards with about 28,300, checking and savings accounts with 26,000, mortgages with 24,000, money and currency transfer services. virtual with 12,600. Loans made up the remainder, with 7,100 auto loans and rental complaints, 3,800 personal / installment / payday loans and almost 3,700 student loans.
So, if the numbers are any indication, the CPFB should focus its 2022 rule making on credit reports, followed by debt collection.
This certainly doesn’t match its 2021 regulatory results.
Despite the relatively low number of complaints, loans and leases have received the most attention, with four final rules and two more pending. Mortgages came close behind, with four final rules and one rule pending. Credit reports have two: one about how much credit bureaus can charge consumers to view their scores, and another forcing bureaus to work harder to make sure it matches data from the credit report. good consumer.
Money transfers and crypto
As the cryptocurrency industry continues to generalize, the growing, high-level focus on clarifying the vague or non-existent regulations that govern it will likely be a continued priority in 2022.
Read also : CFPB Should Ask Tech Giants About Financial Data Management
So far, at least, the tech giants don’t seem to have as much of a problem with payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Of the 28,000 complaints received in the credit and prepaid card category in 2021, the “Mobile or digital wallet” represented… three.
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Regarding the category of money transfer and virtual currency services, of the 13,300 complaints, mobile wallets accounted for around 6,000 complaints and virtual currencies around 2,220, roughly double the number in the same period. Last year. Interestingly, the vast majority of these complaints mirrored the spring bitcoin bull market quite well, peaking in February and plunging in May.
Domestic and international money transfers – 2,900 and 1,200, respectively – accounted for all of the rest, except for a few hundred.