Mulvaney Puts CFPB Financial Education Effort Under Review
By Dan Kadlec
April 11, 2018
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a formal Request for Information on consumer financial education. The CFPB seeks comments and information from the financial literacy community to assist in assessing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its consumer financial education programs.
This comes as no surprise. Since assuming leadership of the CFPB, Mick Mulvaney has issued 11 such formal requests seeking input about the agency. In this case, he wants to know how the community views the CFPB’s “delivery of financial education through online tools, print publications, and community collaborations.”
Some questions the CFPB hopes to answer:
Are financial education programs focusing on the right topics and areas to educate and empower consumers to make better financial decisions?
What technologies should be used to provide financial education?
How should the CFPB measure the success of its financial education programs?
Are there programsat other federal agencies that are similar to CFPB programs?
Are there ways to improve coordination in financial education activities between the CFPB and other federal agencies?
This request is an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for consumers. You can submit your thoughts here.
Make no mistake: The CFPB is in the crosshairs of President Trump. Mulvaney was named acting director in large part to dismantlemuch of the agency’s authority. Already, financial literacy initiatives have ground to a halt. Financial education research projects that are in the budget and ready to go have not gotten final approval. Contracts with financial literacy program developers that have been bid on and awarded have not been signed.
But that doesn’t mean your thoughts can’t make a difference. When Mulvaney took control many in financial literacy circles took heart. With things like investigations and enforcement top of mind, they believed financial literacy—a mission akin to motherhood and apple pie—would be spared as a PR move if for no other reason. Those expectations may have been misplaced, or not. Your comments could be a decisive factor.