Feds brew up a consumer protection alphabet soup


It seems that the FTC, which has been around for awhile, will have some overlapping areas of jurisdiction with the CFPB, which is brand spanking new by comparison. So the agencies behind the letters – the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – have pledged to work together to forward their missions and avoid duplicative efforts.

“The FTC has always been committed to protecting consumers and legitimate companies from bad actors in the financial marketplace,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Now we have another cop on the beat, and this agreement ensures that businesses will not be double-teamed by the two agencies.”

“Entering this agreement with the FTC is important to making sure markets for consumer financial products are getting efficient and effective federal government oversight,” said Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB. “We are both motivated by the same thing: To do right by consumers. We look forward to this partnership.”

The following agreements were included in a memorandum of understanding. The two agencies will:

* meet regularly to coordinate upcoming law enforcement, rulemaking, and other activities;

* inform the other agency, absent exigent circumstances, prior to initiating an investigation or bringing an enforcement action. This notice will prevent duplicative or conflicting enforcement efforts and undue burdens on industry;

* consult on rulemaking and guidance initiatives to promote consistency and reflect the experience and expertise of both agencies;

* cooperate on consumer education efforts to promote consistency of messages and maximum use of resources; and

* share consumer complaints.

If anybody out there has an opinion on any of this, the two entities say they are looking for feedback.