Consumer watchdog creates a business register of 'repeat offenders'

The federal government's top consumer watchdog is creating a registry to track companies and individuals that repeatedly violate consumer protection laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Monday.

The new rule, initially proposed in December 2022, will require non-bank companies affected by local, state or federal enforcement orders from a court or consumer protection agency to register with the CFPB and require a senior executive of the company must confirm that the company is still not active. insulting.

“Too often, financial firms view fines for illegal activities 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 identify and stop repeat offenders.”

The registry will disclose information and orders entered after an agency or court determines that the company or individual has committed a violation or done something illegal, a CFPB official said. The agency has not initiated an appeal or removal process as requested in the comments on the initially proposed rule.

The CFPB suggested the rule in December 2022, and a CFPB official told reporters Monday that the final rule includes changes to reduce duplicate filings, increase the exemption threshold to $5 million in revenue and establish 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 have until April 14 and July 14, 2025.

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

“This registry is part of a serious and concerted effort by the CFPB to rein in repeat offenders,” Chopra told reporters on Monday. “If companies believe that breaking the law is more profitable than following it, it completely undermines public trust and hurts companies that play by the rules.”

The Biden administration has issued a wave of new regulations aimed at strengthening the power of workers and consumers. 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 non-compete agreements and void most existing agreements .

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

Updated at 1:30 PM EDT

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