CFPB's Snooping Operation:
95% of the Credit Card Market in the U.S.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to the agency’s mission, the CFPB “works to educate consumers, enforce federal consumer financial laws, and gather and analyze available information to better understand consumers, financial services providers, and consumer financial markets.”
The Most Dangerous Agency in the Federal Government
The CFPB is the single most powerful, least transparent, and least accountable Federal agency in all of Washington. The CFPB is an independent agency that operates as its own judge, jury, and executioner.
To fulfill its statutory responsibilities, the CFPB has collected financial data on credit card accounts, mortgage loans, and other financial products of millions of Americans through one-time or ongoing collections. Currently, the CFPB lacks written procedures for a number of processes, including the safeguarding of consumers' personal information.
The CFPB's practice of collecting private personal data on U.S. citizen as well as their regulatory overreach, has drawn ire from Members of Congress and business groups:
- U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) has publicly probed CFPB Director Richard Cordray about the widespread data collection of consumers’ financial information. Mr. Crapo states that the law that established the CFPB expressly prohibits the gathering or analyzing of personally identifiable financial information of consumers except for very limited purposes.
- U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) voiced much stronger reservations about the CFPB's use of data. "My concern here is that much of the info that we’ve received on your data collection or monitoring on financial info has come from news reports," said Congressman Duffy, referring to a 2013 Bloomberg article that reported the CFPB had begun collecting data on millions of American consumers.
- Mr. Duffy has said he requested to attend the February 26th and 27th, 2014 meeting of the CFPB's Consumer Advisory Committee, which under FACA should be completely open to the public. Mr. Duffy said his staff was told via email, "We cannot accommodate the Congressman’s request." "What is the CFPB doing that is on par with the CIA? It makes everyone want to ask, 'what exactly goes on in these meetings?'” Mr. Duffy asked.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to Director Cordray, said the bureau’s data requests have been “often unfocused, overly inclusive and not coordinated with other regulators.” The bureau is misusing the regularly scheduled examinations of banks to “demand huge amounts of data,” requests that instead should be made by rule or order,” said the letter from David Hirschmann, head of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.