CFPB’s Consumer Finance Law Taskforce expected to issue 90-100 recommendations on January 5

by Jeff Sovern

The CFPB has posted to its website an announcement that it will hold an event on January 5 to announce the "findings, analyses, and recommendations" of its Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law. Regular blog readers will recall that the Taskforce is not very diverse in a variety of ways. Earlier this month, the Taskforce came up during a very informative program titled “FinTech and Consumer Finance: Agenda for 2021” held by the Conference on Consumer Finance Law and the Program on Financial Regulation & Technology at George Mason University’s Scalia Law School. Among the speakers was Taskforce member Jean Noonan, a partner at Hudson Cook. Ms. Cook stated during her opening statement (about 46 minutes in) that the Taskforce report, which she said was not quite finished at that point, consisted of two volumes. Volume one will have 13 chapters and volume two will make between 90 and 100 recommendations. She noted that the report will run the gamut from the origins of consumer finance to cutting edge issues to intractable problems like how to give disclosures that are useful to consumers as opposed to disclosures that no one reads. The recommendations will be not only for the Bureau but also for Congress, other federal agencies, and the states. She also said that the Taskforce members intended their recommendations to be "very forward-looking" as opposed to just focusing on the short term. While discussing another topic during her opening statement, Ms. Noonan noted that in discussing that topic, she wanted to be careful not to annoy her auto finance clients. I have no reason to suppose that Ms. Noonan took a similar approach concerning the Taskforce report, but having representatives of the consumer advocacy community on the Taskforce would have gone a long way towards alleviating concerns about the report's balance.

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