CFPB Director Rohit Chopra Announces corporate ‘repeat offender’ registry

Feature and Cover CFPB Director Rohit Chopra Announces corporate ‘repeat offender’ registry

The federal government’s top consumer watchdog is establishing a registry to track companies and people who repeatedly break consumer protection laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Monday.

Initially proposed in December 2022, the new rule will require non-bank companies hit with local, state or federal consumer protection-related court or agency enforcement orders to register with the CFPB and a senior executive from the company to attest the company is not still offending.

“Too often, financial firms treat penalties for illegal activity as the cost of doing business,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement. “The CFPB’s new rule will help law enforcement across the country detect and stop repeat offenders.”

The registry will publicly disclose information and orders entered after an agency or court has found the company or individual has committed wrongdoing or something illegal, a CFPB official said. The bureau has not established an appeal or delisting process, as was requested in comments on the initial proposed rule.

The CFPB proposed the rule in December 2022, and a CFPB official told reporters Monday the final rule includes changes to cut down on duplicate registration, increase the exemption threshold to $5 million in revenue and create an implementation schedule.

Larger non-bank participants will be among the first tranche of registrations due Jan. 14, 2025, a CFPB official said. Other supervised companies will have until April 14, 2025, and July 14, 2025.

The bureau expects the public registry to go live sometime next year.

“This registry is part of a serious and concerted effort at the CFPB to rein in repeat offenders,” Chopra told reporters Monday. “When companies believe that violating the law is more profitable than following it, this totally undermines public trusts and harms that businesses who are playing by the rules.”

The Biden administration has issued a wave of new rules intended to beef up worker and consumer power. The CFPB last month moved to classify “buy now, pay later” applications as credit card companies, while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted in April to ban the use of noncompete agreements and nullify most existing agreements.

These rules come as President Biden gears up for a tough reelection race against former President Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Many Americans have negative feelings about the state of the economy, and perceptions of Biden’s handling of the economy has been a persistent thorn in his campaign’s side. The economy and still-elevated inflation are top issues for voters, and more Americans trust Trump than Biden on these issues, according to a recent ABC News/Ipsos Poll.

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