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Washington
CFPB provides outlet for financial crime informants
WASHINGTON (12/19/11)--Individuals with information on potential violations of federal consumer financial laws will now have "a direct line of communication" to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), CFPB Assistant Director of Enforcement and nominee for CFPB Director Richard Cordray said last week.

"Their tips will help inform [CFPB] strategy, investigations, and enforcement" and will help fulfill that agency's "commitment to consumers," Cordray said. Credit Union National Associatio (CUNA)  Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said CUNA "wants to make sure that the whistleblower process focuses on legitimate concerns involving illegal practices rather than facilitating frivolous inquiries or misguided 'tips.'"

Potential whistleblowers may contact the CFPB by emailing whistleblower@cfpb.gov or calling a toll free hotline at 855-695-7974. The CFPB said it also plans to add an online whistleblower application to its homepage soon.

Individuals that reach out to the CFPB may request confidentiality or ask to remain anonymous, but the CFPB said providing personal contact information may help the CFPB investigate and remediate the reported issues.

The CFPB will accept financial crime tips from current or former employees, contractors, vendors, and competitor companies, the release said. The agency said that portions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act would protect whistleblowers from any retaliation by potential violators they are reporting. Whistleblowers that believe they have been retaliated against may file complaints with the Secretary of Labor, the CFPB said.

The whistleblower program will be separate from the CFPB's consumer complaint activities, the agency added.
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