Letter: Consumer bureau provides invaluable service
Posted April 24, 2017 in Op-Eds
The Monday Dispatch article “Cordray, his bureau surviving GOP blasts,” on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, focused too heavily on vitriolic complaints from the financial-services industry and not enough on how the agency protects and defends consumers.
Ohioans turn to the bureau to help resolve disputes with big financial institutions they may not be able to manage on their own. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fielded more than 23,000 complaints from Ohioans, including 1,000 from Franklin County. It is difficult to find consumers willing to come forward and share how they were defrauded by unscrupulous business practices of some financial institutions.
As a consumer advocate, I can tell you the effectiveness of the bureau cannot be overstated. Last year, more than 100 organizations that serve Ohio’s most financially vulnerable asked the bureau to regulate payday lenders that take more than $500 million each year from Ohioans in fees. In 2015, the agency ordered a Cincinnati financial services company to pay $10 million to several thousand consumers, including 17,000 Ohioans who could not access their money for nearly two weeks.
The 2008 financial crisis showed us what happens when Wall Street is unchecked. We need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to continue to be a watchdog and protect the financial well-being of consumers.
- Kalitha Williams