Warren Talking with Wide Swath of Financial Industry Stakeholders

By Sarah Borchersen-Keto, CCH Washington News Bureau, Contributing Author, the CCH Federal Banking Law Reporter, Dec. 2, 2010.

Elizabeth Warren, tasked with heading up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said she is talking with a wide variety of stakeholders in the financial services industry, including state Attorneys General.

Speaking to the Consumer Federation of America on Dec. 2, 2010, Warren said she recently met with Attorneys General from across the country “because they are on the front line of so many issues involving family finances, including the foreclosure problems that present so many challenges for homeowners and financial institutions.”

Other stakeholders engaged in talks include consumer advocates, corporate CEOs, big banks, community banks and credit unions. Warren admitted that the work ahead is “daunting,” but stressed the need for “tough, no-nonsense changes that will last and will address the real, underlying issues.”

While acknowledging that rules and enforcement actions tackling abuses in the consumer credit market are justified, Warren noted that “there also are limits to what can be achieved if we narrow our focus to issuing a series of thou-shalt-not rules.” The agency can issue more and more rules, Warren said. “That approach will eliminate some of the worst practices. But the market still will not work as it should…we need fundamental changes, not just narrow rules that ban the latest abuses.”

Warren stressed the need to “make every agreement clear…regulations should be about making sure that customers have the information they need to make the decisions that are right for them.”