CFPB seeks comment: How is card market working for consumers?

March 17, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/18/15)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Tuesday that it is seeking public comment on the function of the credit card market, as well as the impact of consumer protections.

The request for comment focuses on issues including credit card terms, the use of consumer disclosures, credit card debt collection practices and rewards programs.

Specific areas the CFPB is requesting information on include:

  • How the terms and conditions of credit card agreements may have changed since the CFPB conducted its review of the credit card market two years ago, including how card issuers may have changed their pricing, marketing, underwriting or other practices and whether those changes have benefited or harmed consumers;
  • Information on the extent to which unfair or deceptive acts and practices, or unlawful discrimination, may still exist in the credit card market and with what frequency;
  • Information on the collection of past due amounts on credit card accounts as well as debt collection practices within the credit card industry, as well as how often card issuers use third-party collection agencies and how those relationships are managed; and
  • How credit card issuers determine that their disclosures for rewards products are being made in a clear and transparent manner, whether consumers understand these offers when applying for rewards credit cards and how disclosures may be improved.

According to the CFPB, the review will culminate in a public report to Congress on the state of the consumer credit card market, and the data gathered will help inform future policy decisions.

This will mark the CFPB's second review of the credit card market, as required by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. In response to the bureau's 2013 request for information, CUNA urged the bureau to ensure "consumers continue to receive reasonable protections while minimizing regulatory burdens on credit unions that offer credit card services to their members."

Comments are due May 18.