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CEI Board Member Todd Zywicki to Head CFPB Task Force on Consumer Financial Law

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced that Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) board member and George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law Todd Zywicki will head the Bureau’s newly created Taskforce on Consumer Financial Law. The task force is charged with updating and simplifying decades-old rules. 

CEI Senior Fellow John Berlau

“Professor Zywicki has distinguished himself as a premier scholar in the field of consumer finance law. It is wonderful that the CFPB will now be able to draw upon the knowledge of Professor Zywicki and other experts on this panel to tackle the biggest regulatory barriers to financial inclusion.” 

CEI Policy Analyst Matthew Adams:

“CEI has long called for the CFPB to create such a task force to fix government regulations that impede access to credit, and Professor Zywicki is ideally suited to head these efforts. The creation of this task force demonstrates yet another way the Bureau, under the leadership of Kathleen Kraninger, is becoming less of an unwarranted menace to financial institutions and more pro-consumer.” 

The task force will examine ways to harmonize and modernize the existing legal and regulatory environment around consumer finance. It was partially inspired by the work of the National Commission on Consumer Finance during the 1960s and 1970s, which helped make significant legislative and regulatory improvements to consumer finance. Additionally, under the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the Bureau is required to identify and address “outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations.” The task force will report to the CFPB director with recommendations for improvement. 

Consumer financial laws and regulations remain too often archaic and onerous. For example, regulations imposed through the 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) dictate the rules around debt collection but have had little to no modernization despite advancements in finance and communications since then. That sort of antiquation makes compliance complex and costly. 

The merits of the new task force notwithstanding, CEI maintains that the CFPB, as currently structured under Dodd-Frank, is unconstitutional and wields an unaccountable, potentially damaging amount of power over financial institutions and consumers.

Other task force members include:

  • J. Howard Beales, III, former Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy at the George Washington University and former Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission;
  • Thomas Durkin, Senior Economist (Retired) at the Federal Reserve Board;
  • Jean Noonan, Partner at Hudson Cook, former General Counsel at the Farm Credit Administration, and former Associate Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection's Credit Practice at the Federal Trade Commission

Related CEI analysis: 

Celebrate Consumer Finance Law Modernization