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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Tool: The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is scheduled to be up and running in July 2011.

What it does: Its mission is twofold -- to regulate financial institutions and oversee consumer financial products, and to serve as a hub for consumer problems with financial products and institutions.

How to use: It's almost too soon to tell. But it's designed to be a one-stop shop for information, consumer protection and complaints.

Because the bureau is responsible to consumers, "you can expect to see a degree of prevention and putting an end to certain financial practices," says Ruth Susswein, a deputy director with nonprofit group Consumer Action.

Why consumers are thankful: This is a big step forward for consumers, she says. For the first time, consumers will have a department "that is required to respond to consumer complaints," says Susswein.

And it's going to make a huge difference in terms of "stamping out bad practices and telling us the truth about products -- including disclosures we can actually read," says Gail Hillebrand, financial services campaign manager for Consumers Union.


 

 

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