October 25, 2021

First actions by new CFPB director show co-mingling of consumer protection with antitrust

Bloomberg Law reports that with his first consent order, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Rohit Chopra has confirmed his early focus on unfair competition. The action against a prison financial services company imposes a $6 million judgment to settle allegations of excessive fees charged for its debit card products. He followed the order with letters to tech giants asking how they use consumers' data from digital wallets, payments apps and other fintech products. These competition-driven issues are likely to drive the Chopra agenda.

Hudson Cook partner and former CFPB deputy enforcement director Lucy Morris wasn't surprised by Chopra's first actions as director. "Part of what we're seeing here is Rohit's education at the Federal Trade Commission, where he learned not only about consumer protection, but also the . . . related area of antitrust and competition," said Lucy.

President Biden issued an executive order on competition in July 2021, reinforcing Chopra's stated focus on competition. Biden's order also asked the CFPB to use its UDAAP rulemaking and enforcement authority within the competitive context.

Click here to read the Bloomberg article.

Lucy Morris is a partner in Hudson Cook's Washington, DC office and chair of the firm's Government Investigations, Examinations, and Enforcement practice group. Before the CFPB, Lucy worked at the Federal Trade Commission for over 20 years in a variety of leadership positions, including as Assistant Director for Financial Practices and as Assistant to the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. For more information on the CFPB as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary, request a replay of Hudson Cook's June CFPB Bites, featuring an interview with Lucy.

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