WASHINGTON (2/15/13)--Noting that "there is a very scattered and disparate approach" to financial literacy education right now, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said his agency wants to work with the U.S. Congress, other federal agencies and states to address the issue.
The CFPB director spoke during a Thursday Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled "Wall Street Reform: Oversight of Financial Stability and Consumer and Investor Protections." Cordray was one of seven regulators that discussed Wall Street reform implementation during the hearing.
Basic Financial literacy "is something that we've lost… and something we need to focus on," Cordray said. The CFPB Director said the agency is working with 15 or 20 other federal agencies to address financial literacy issues.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) noted there are 56 different federal financial literacy programs, and he asked Cordray to analyze the programs and make a recommendation to congress on which programs could be eliminated. "With 56, if we start another one or another two or three and don't change those, we're throwing money out the door," the senator said. Cordray said he would follow up on the issue and work with Coburn.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also spoke during the first banking committee hearing of 2013, asking witnesses why their agencies had not pursued more court cases against Wall Street banks. Many of the witnesses said banks had reached financial settlements with the government, but were not taken to trial. "I'm really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial," Warren said.
Warren also joined 53 Democratic and Independent senators to sign a letter commending President Barack Obama's decision to re-nominate Cordray for the CFPB Director position. The letter cosignors said they would support Cordray's nomination, and they oppose and structural changes to the CFPB.
A group of 44 Republican senators have said they will oppose Cordray's nomination unless structural changes are made to the CFPB.
For more on the hearing and the Senate CFPB letter, use the resource links.