Alert July 23, 2013

CFPB Publishes Report and Launches Financial Literacy Program

The CFPB has released its first annual report highlighting its activities and strategy to improve the financial literacy of consumers as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. As noted in the report, the CFPB has a three-part strategy to financial literacy: (1) research; (2) education initiatives and (3) outreach to stakeholders able to assist the CFPB in reaching the public and "fine-tuning" its approaches. The report highlighted the CFPB’s "AskCFPB" initiative, its quantitative evaluation of financial coaching programs, pilot programs and outreach efforts. For example, the CFPB noted its visits to military installations and units as well as its series of conference calls discussing student loan complaints with student groups, colleges and universities and consumer advocates among other stakeholders.

In conjunction with the release of its report, the CFPB announced that it was launching a financial literacy program designed to provide direct financial coaching services to transitioning veterans and economically vulnerable consumers. Beginning in 2014, the CFPB will place these financial coaches in strategic locations—locations where consumers receive other services (e.g., job training or housing counseling centers). The CFPB will also select various local organizations to "integrate and oversee" the financial literacy program for economically vulnerable consumers.