Are Bank Regulators Trustworthy?

by Sarah Grotta 0

Those working in financial services often have formed opinions about the various regulatory bodies that have oversight and authority over the industry.  The Cato Institute conducted a survey to find out what the general population believes about the effectiveness of financial regulators. As it turns out, they have opinions on the topic as well. The Competitive Enterprise Institute provided some analysis on the survey and concludes that consumers generally are not convinced that regulators have made financial services better or safer.  In particular, survey respondents are unsure that the CFPB has their best interests at heart:

A major political fight today surrounds the role of government regulation in consumer financial protection. At the helm is the highly controversial CFPB, the brain child of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who advocates rooting out financial products that may be harmful to consumers.

Yet this is at odds with what the majority of Americans want from consumer protection. Director of polling with the Cato Institute, Emily Ekins found that restricting access to risky financial products is a priority for only 13% of respondents. On the other hand, most said that governments should allow individuals to make their own financial decisions, even if they make the wrong ones.

The CFPB, however, has taken just the opposite approach. Through regulations covering payday loans, prepaid debit cards, and even contractual agreements on lawsuits, the agency has taken it upon itself to make American’s financial decisions for them. This does not bode well for consumers. As a result of many of their rulemakings, millions of Americans have found it more difficult to get a mortgage or access credit to start a business. The CFPB has ignored the kind of consumer protection that American’s are looking for, instead preferring to strip consumers of choice and responsibility.  

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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