Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday that the financial regulatory bureau would move to overhaul one of its most powerful enforcement powers, the general authority to police the consumer financial industry for fraud or similar behavior, known as “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices."
“I think we’re going to announce some rulemaking on what that term means,” Mulvaney told a room full of conference attendees on Thursday in Washington. His comments could mean a shift in how the bureau approaches such cases. Mulvaney ordered a broad review of the bureau's rules and practices earlier this year, much of it focused around enforcement.
Under Dodd-Frank, the post-financial crisis regulatory law that created the CFPB, the bureau can punish companies engaged in unfair or deceptive practices, a broad mandate that gives the agency far-reaching powers.The Federal Trade Commission, another governmental watchdog for consumers, has similar authority, but critics of the CFPB say that the power is too broad and can lead to arbitrary enforcement.
Democrats have maintained that the ability to police consumer finance for such activities is critical to financial stability, citing the abuses in the mortgage market in the run-up to the crisis.
A spokesperson for the bureau did not immediately respond to an email asking about timing or what the rulemaking might entail.
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