The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Presidential Initiative Working Group of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) have announced agreement on a Joint Statement of Principles, the first step in forging a new partnership between federal and state officials to protect consumers of financial products and services. Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB, highlighted the agreement in her remarks at the NAAG Presidential Initiative Summit in Charlotte, NC. “I anticipate that our cooperation will have a profound effect on the consumer financial markets,” Warren told state attorneys general and others gathered at the summit, according to her prepared remarks. “Together, we can pose a greater deterrent to unscrupulous financial services providers. We can protect more consumers, and we can ensure that more institutions follow the rules.” The Joint Statement of Principles was developed to advance three goals shared by the CFPB and state attorneys general to ensure protections for consumers of financial products and services: Protect consumers of financial products or services from unlawful acts or practices; provide clear rules that improve the marketplace for consumers and remove unfair competition for the benefit of law-abiding businesses; and find ways to promote understanding and address concerns raised by consumers about financial products or services as efficiently and effectively as possible. “People are hurt every day by unfair financial products,” said North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who serves as President of the NAAG. “This agreement will put more cops on the beat to protect consumers and businesses that are doing the right thing.” In the Joint Statement, the parties agree to: ►Develop joint training programs and share information about developments in federal consumer financial law and state consumer protection laws that apply to consumer financial products or services; ►Share information, data, and analysis about conduct and practices in the markets for consumer financial products or services to inform enforcement policies and priorities; ►Engage in regular consultation to identify mutual enforcement priorities that will ensure effective and consistent enforcement of the laws that protect consumers of financial products or services; ►Support each other, to the fullest extent permitted by law as warranted by the circumstances, in the enforcement of the laws that protect consumers of financial products or services, including by joint or coordinated investigations of wrongdoing and coordinated enforcement actions; ►Pursue legal remedies to foster transparency, competition, and fairness in the markets for consumer financial products or services across state lines and without regard to corporate forms or charter choice for those providers who compete directly with one another in the same markets; ►Develop a consistent and enduring framework to share investigatory information and to coordinate enforcement activities to the extent practicable and consistent with governing law; ►Share, refer, and route complaints and consumer complaint information between the CFPB and the state attorneys general; ►Analyze and leverage the input they receive from consumers and the public in order to advance their mutual goal of protecting consumers of financial products or services; and ►Create and support technologies to enable data sharing and procedures that will support complaint cooperation.
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