CFPB Unveils Financial Education Strategy 2012

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) unveiled its financial education strategy for the United States on a webinar hosted by CFPB leaders and members of the government, nonprofit and financial services communities. Currently, the CFPB is working on building up their resources and capacity on financial education. We compiled screenshots of the webinar slides today so you could get a sneak peek at the presentation before the slides are released to attendees. Click here to download the slides from the CFPB’s Financial Education strategy call.

CFPB Office of Financial Education

CFPB’s Vision

The CFPB has a vision of a consumer finance marketplace

  • where customers can see prices and risks up front and where they can easily make product comparisons;
  • in which no one can build a business model around unfair, deceptive or abusive practices;
  • that works for American consumers, responsible providers and the economy as a whole.

CFPB’s Toolkit to Achieve Vision

CFPB officials said that they have five tools in their “regulatory toolbox” to achieve their vision

  1. Supervision / Examination / Enforcement
  2. Research, Markets and Regulation
  3. Consumer Response
  4. Financial Education and Consumer Engagement
  5. External Affairs

In regards to their consumer response tools, they have set up complaint hotlines related to “all bank products” including:

  • Credit Cards
  • Mortgages
  • Bank Accounts
  • Private Student Loans

Additionally, they have set up distressed homeowner counseling hotlines, a “Tell your Story” portal for complaints, a website, and you can call their consumer complaint hotline at (855)411-CFPB (2372)

Consumer Education and Engagement Offices

Financial education efforts for the CFPB are housed in their Consumer Education and Engagement Offices that have four areas of focus for select groups of citizens:

  • Servicemembers
  • Older Americans (ages 62+)
  • Students
  • Financial Empowerment (low-income and underbanked communities)

How to Participate in CFPB Initiatives

CFB has set up a host of online resources which can be viewed on the CFPB website or the CFPB’s blog.

Office of Financial Education Objectives

Camille Busette, the newly appointed Assistant Director of the Office of Financial Education at the CFPB, also discussed the four primary objectives of her office:

  1. Build a comprehensive approach to financial education – Develop knowledge about what works in financial education and provide opportunities for financial educators to learn about effective strategies.
  2. Promote innovation – test new ideas and share successful innovations in the field.
  3. Educate Consumers – Provide understandable information to consumers that helps them make informed decisions.
  4. Increase Federal Coordination – Director of the CFPB serves as the vice chair of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission – a 21 agency working group that has been working on financial education initiatives since 2008.

Our Hope for the CFPB’s Financial Education Strategy

There has been a lot of good work done in the field of financial literacy and financial education initiatives across the United States and around the world. At YoBucko, we hope that the CFPB doesn’t overlook all of the hard work that has taken place and try to recreate the wheel. Rather than spending millions of taxpayer dollars replicating existing programs, we encourage the CFPB and its leadership to reach out to financial education experts, practitioners, bloggers, innovators, etc. that have already done great things and leverage their knowledge and expertise.

Strategies are only as useful as our ability to execute them. We hope that rather than spending taxpayer dollars on re-researching, re-recreating and re-reinventing the wheel, lean on the people and organizations that have done this well. Despite the debacle our country has gone through financially, there are many effective efforts and resources out there to help out. Good luck!

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