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CFPB, FTC Sign Agreement to Share, Clarify Powers

The ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) and ""Federal Trade Commission"":http://www.ftc.gov/ (FTC) signed an agreement Monday to eliminate regulatory overlap by frequently sharing information about investigations and rulemaking proposals.

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A Memorandum of Understanding obliges the agencies to meet no less than once quarterly to share information, notify each other of action pending against entities, and coordinate training exercises for examiners and personnel.

CFPB director Richard Cordray chalked up the agreement to ""efficient and effective federal government oversight"" in a statement.

""The FTC has always been committed to protecting consumers and legitimate companies from bad actors in the financial marketplace,"" FTC chairman ""Jon Leibowitz"":http://www.ftc.gov/commissioners/leibowitz/index.shtml said in a statement. ""Now we have another cop on the beat, and this agreement ensures that businesses will not be double-teamed by the two agencies.

When it comes to new rules, either agency will need to consult with the other about any proposal at least 60 days before it

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means to publish a notice in the Federal Register. Guidance and orders by either will also fall under review by personnel from both agencies.

Pursuant to writ of notice, the CFPB will need to provide examination reports concerning persons or companies of interest to the FTC. The agencies will also meet twice each year to address the status of rules, task forces, and national initiatives in force for either.

The memorandum gives either agency the right to intervene in investigations involving persons or companies of interest to the CFPB or FTC.

The agreement also fulfills provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act that charge the CFPB and FTC with finalizing an agreement that addresses their shared areas of rulemaking and supervisory authority.

""David Hirschmann"":http://www.uschamber.com/about/management/david-hirschmann, president and CEO of the ""U.S. Chamber of Commerce's"":http://www.uschamber.com/ Center for Capital Market Competitiveness, raised concerns about an adhoc process and overlap last June in a ""letter"":http://www.centerforcapitalmarkets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/MOU-Letter-6.16.2011.pdf to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Leibowitz.

In it, he pressed for clarification about the CFPB's role in the financial services industry and shared enforcement responsibilities.

He said that ""an unwillingness to defer to one another ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô even on a presumptive basis ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô is unjustified and, in today's era of greatly constrained government resources, an irresponsible use of valuable taxpayer funds.""

Cordray said in the statement that the CFPB looks forward to the memorandum with FTC, adding: ""We are both motivated by the same thing: To do right by consumers.""

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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