The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just added another notch to its belt by fining credit agencies for screwing over their customers.
CFPB uncovered that credit agencies were telling people they would receive credit reports for free or $1 but were instead signing them up for services that could charge them up to $200 a year. As a result of CFPB’s actions, $13.93 million will go from TransUnion and Equifax and into the hands of consumers.
Yet the newly elected Republican congress, along with Donald Trump, have CFPB on their hit list. Ever since President Obama started the agency – which was first proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – Republicans have sought to either destroy it or at the very least cut down its power to stand up as a watchdog for consumers in the financial industry. Much of the anti-CFPB activity has come from politicians who have received massive contributions from the same industry, who resent the agency’s role as an independent watchdog that is not beholden to banks and their allies.
After 6 years in operation, CFPB has helped 27 million consumers get $11.7 billion in relief from financial businesses and was recently instrumental in securing a $185 million settlement with Wells Fargo for deceptive cross-selling.