Removing Barriers Blog

Pennsylvania creates Unit like CFPB within AG office
Posted August 21, 2017 by Chandler Schuette

Recently, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the launch of a Consumer Financial Protection Unit designed to “better protect Pennsylvania consumers from financial scams.”  

According to Shapiro’s office, the state’s Consumer Financial Protection Unit has the following duties:

  • Investigate commercial and trade practices in the distribution, financing and furnishing of goods and services for the use of consumers;
  • Conduct studies, investigations and research into matters affecting consumer interests and make such information available to the public;
  • Advise the Legislature on matters affecting consumer interests, including the development of policies and the proposal of programs to protect consumers;
  • Investigate fraud and deception in the sale, servicing and furnishing of goods and products, and strive to eliminate such illegal actions;
  • Promote consumer education and publicize matters relating to consumer fraud, deception and misrepresentation.

The Unit will be led by Nicholas Smyth, who was an early CFPB employee and served as assistant director of the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (the precursor to the CFPB). Smyth also helped draft the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act), which created the CFPB. 

The Attorney General has made it clear to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) that credit unions will not be the target of the new unit.