The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) is focused on creating a consumer
financial marketplace that works for all consumers. Our mission is to make markets for consumer
financial products and services work for consumers and responsible providers by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.
When we do our work well, we help to ensure that consumers are able to make the financial
decisions they believe are best for themselves and their families in a fair marketplace one where
prices are clear up front, risks are visible, nothing is buried in fine print, and everyone plays by the
rules. In a market that works, consumers should be able to make direct comparisons among financial products and services and no provider should be able to use unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices.
Over the past year, the CFPB has engaged in an intensive planning effort to prioritize how we will
use our tools together to tackle some of the most troubling problems facing consumers. There
are four industry wide problems that we have been focused on: deception, or situations where the
costs and risks of a financial decision are obscured or opaque; debt traps, or practices that trigger a
cycle of debt where consumers rack up substantial costs over time; dead ends, or situations where
people cannot “vote with their feet” when they are treated unfairly; and discrimination, or unequal
treatment based on characteristics such as race, gender, or other biases prohibited by law. In
developing our priorities, we assessed these problems within and across markets and then
prioritized them based on the extent of the consumer harm that we were able to identify and our
capacity to eliminate or mitigate that harm.
The result, below, is a set of near term priority goals where we hope to make substantial progress
over the next two years, and a plan for how to deploy our shared cross Bureau resources to do so.
To be clear, these goals do not capture all of the important work we are doing. In particular, the
Bureau will continue to fulfill its mandate under the Dodd-Frank Act to police all markets within
its jurisdiction for compliance with consumer financial law and regulations. That is a core part of
our work that will not change over time, even though our overall priorities as an agency will shift.
Accordingly, we were careful to preserve significant resources to ensure that we fulfill this
Financial companies should continue their focus on complying with the law beyond the particular issues described in the goals, whether or not they see their particular industry or product mentioned explicitly among the shared cross
We will also continue to monitor the markets in our jurisdiction and be flexible where necessary to respond to emerging issues protect consumers.
In addition, while this strategy focuses on our forward looking priorities as an agency, there are a few additional priority work streams that are well established and ongoing, and we will see that work through to completion. This includes, in particular, our fair lending oversight of indirect auto lenders and our rule making on prepaid cards.