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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced yesterday six areas that could be subject to its supervision, including debt-collection companies and pre-paid card companies, as it asked for public comment on which non-bank financial firms it should oversee, according to an article in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal by Deborah Solomon and Maya Jackson Randall.

The announcement, the article said, "marked a first step in its effort to police firms that largely have escaped federal scrutiny." The agency was established last year by the Dodd-Frank regulatory-overhaul law.

Elizabeth Warren, a special adviser to President Barack Obama who is helping to set up the agency, said that "consumers deserve the peace of mind that financial companies, banks and non-banks are following the rules, the article said.

The six area are debt collection, consumer reporting, consumer credit and elated activities, check cashing and related activities, prepaid cards and debt-relief services and the bureau also said automobile loans and personal loans could fall under its supervision, the article said.

The bureau is not allowed to regulate non-bank firms until it has a permanent director, the article said, "a position that will be difficult to fill given Senate Republicans' pledge to block anyone President Obama nominates for the job" unless changes are made to its structure including making it a five-member commission rather than headed by a single director. Republicans had said that the agency, which is independent and derives it funding from the Federal Reserve and not Congress has too much power.

Representative Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas) said the announcement illustrates his concern about the agency being run in an ad-hoc manner but Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D., N.Y.) said that "this is a perfect example of what has clearly become Elizabeth Warren's trademark since the president appointment her to get the CFPB up and running: an open and transparent process where the CFPB is asking for public input.

The Dodd-Frank law gave the agency authority to supervise large banks and non-bank financial firms such as payday lenders, mortgage brokers and lenders to students and it has authority regulate practically any company engaging in consumer finance, the article said.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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