Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 1:20 PM

CFPB and NAAG release joint statement of principles

Posted by: Chris Jones

Yesterday, the CFPB and the Presidential Initiative Working Group of the National Association of Attorneys General announced a joint statement of principles, which the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau describes as "the first step in forging a new partnership between federal and state officials to protect consumers of financial products and services." The statement, which is available here, sets out the following principles that have been agreed between and among NAAG and the CFPB:

1. Develop joint training programs and share information about developments in federal consumer financial law and state consumer protection laws that apply to consumer financial products or services;

2. Share information, data, and analysis about conduct and practices in the markets for consumer financial products or services to inform enforcement policies and priorities;

3. Engage in regular consultation to identify mutual enforcement priorities that will ensure effective and consistent enforcement of the laws that protect consumers of financial products or services;

4. Support each other, to the fullest extent permitted by law as warranted by the circumstances, in the enforcement of the laws that protect consumers of financial products or services, including by joint or coordinated investigations of wrongdoing and coordinated enforcement actions;

5. Pursue legal remedies to foster transparency, competition, and fairness in the markets for consumer financial products or services across state lines and without regard to corporate forms or charter choice for those providers who compete directly with one another in the same markets;

6. Develop a consistent and enduring framework to share investigatory information and to coordinate enforcement activities to the extent practicable and consistent with governing law;

7. Share, refer, and route complaints and consumer complaint information between the CFPB and the state attorneys general;Analyze and leverage the input they receive from consumers and the public in order to advance their mutual goal of protecting consumers of financial products or services; and

8. Create and support technologies to enable data sharing and procedures that will support complaint cooperation.

Our view is that the two organizations have already exhibited signs of being both serious about this cooperative endeavor and relatively effective in pulling it off. One need only look to the Financial Services Committee's concern regarding the CFPB involvement and consultation with the associated group of 50 attorneys general in connection with the national mortgage documentation issues to see evidence of that effective cooperation.


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