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New consumer protection bureau open for suggestions

February 3, 2011

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“Welcome to the online home of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This new bureau is in the construction phase, but we’re already hard at work on plans to make consumer financial products and services clearer for Americans.”

That’s the message from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on its website launched today.

The CFPB will serve as the nation’s top cop for policing the financial services industry and will assume its full powers in July.

One page on the website says the Bureau will set up a system to receive complaints and answer questions about consumer financial products and services.

“We will use a website and toll-free number to help consumers—and to help us do a better job of enforcing the law, ” it says.  Other parts of the site ask consumers for their stories and suggestions.

President Obama appointed Elizabeth Warren to serve as White House adviser in charge of setting up the CFPB which is scheduled to start work in July. He has not yet appointed a head for the agency.

Here’s a full timeline of the Bureau which was proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in March 2008.

The Bureau will be responsible for identifying and stopping unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the sale and delivery of financial services to consumers.

The Consumers Union has outlined priorities it hopes the CFPB will tackle in 2011, beginning with ending credit card rip-offs. Gail Hillebrand, financial services campaign manager of Consumers Union outlined suggested goals for the CFPB in a statement in October 2010.

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