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Consumer Protection Issue Brief

AARP strongly supports the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would have as its sole mission the development and effective implementation of standards that ensure that all credit products offered to borrowers are safe. Under the legislation passed in the House and pending in the Senate, the consumer protection regulation and enforcement functions that currently are spread over 17 statutes and seven different agencies will be consolidated in one agency, the CFPA. This new agency will reduce, streamline, and simplify existing regulatory sprawl and ensure that the same rules are consistently applied to and enforced against all entities providing financial products to consumers.

Specifically, AARP supports a CFPA that is an independent agency; covers all financial products; has rulemaking, examination, and enforcement authority; serves as a floor of protection, not a ceiling; and safeguards older citizens, who have unique vulnerability to financial fraud.

Both the House-passed H.R. 4173 and the draft bill in the Senate include similar, though not identical, significant and long-overdue reforms to investor protections. These measures would help to restore investors' shattered confidence, which is critical to the recovery and stability of the financial markets. Such measures include greater resources and authority for the Securities and Exchange Commission, timely and well tested disclosures, more effective oversight of financial intermediaries, and improved remedies to redress wrongdoing.

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