DEFINITION of 'Consumer Financial Protection Act'

An amendment to the National Bank Act designed to identify and explain the standards that apply to national banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Act aims to increase oversight and clarify the laws governing financial transactions in order to protect consumers in these transactions. The act resulted in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to centralize the regulation of various financial products and services.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumer Financial Protection Act'

In the wake of the housing market collapse of the late 2000s, which many blamed, at least partly, on "predatory" lending practices, numerous proposals had been made seeking to grant the federal government more oversight of various financial processes. Forming a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (also refered to as the Consumer Financial Protection Agency) was one of those proposals. The agency is designed to consolidate or resolve descrepencies between federal and state financial laws. CFPB was launched in 2011; its main goal is to protect consumers from fraudulent and/or overly aggressive behavior from banks and other financial institutions.

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