WASHINGTON (2/28/14)--In remarks to his agency's Consumer Advisory Board Thursday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray underscored the important role credit reports play in every consumer's financial affairs.
Whether they are aware of it or not, Cordray said, people's ability to access credit, and how much they pay for credit, is typically governed by what is contained in their credit profiles.
"We are all here," he told the CAB members, "because we care deeply about how people are being treated in the consumer financial marketplace," including the credit reporting industry.
Earlier in the day, the CFPB called on the nation's top credit card companies to make credit scores and related content freely available to their customers. The CFPB also released a new study that found accuracy issues top the list of credit reporting complaints it receives from consumers (see resource link for the report).
Cordray said that, going forward, the bureau will be seeking to make credit reporting fairer for consumers by exercising its supervisory authority over larger credit reporting companies and many of their largest furnishers.
"Our examination teams ensure that they are complying with the consumer financial laws. We now oversee companies that account for about 90% of the annual receipts in this market.
"This oversight allows us to step behind the curtain of these companies and their internal processes," he said, adding, "We then can find specific pain points for consumers, identify problem areas, and work directly to improve their responsiveness to consumer problems. Our supervisory authority extends to the largest financial institutions and collections agencies, which provide a majority of the credit reporting companies' trade lines and collection items."