Mitch G. Still Serving Consumers with the CFPB
After 36 years of service, former Consumer Services Bureau Chief Mitch Gennaoui retired from the NYSID in March 2011 and took several months off to catch up on his “to do” list. During those months he was reading about the new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts’ newest U.S. senator. Mitch was intrigued with the mission of this new agency and applied for a position, was interviewed and began on July 31, 2011, just after the agency got off the ground.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in order to establish a single point of accountability to assure that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. Mitch works as a field examiner, assuring compliance with consumer laws on credit cards, mortgages, student loans, prepaid cards, and other kinds of financial products and services.
Mitch reports that his time at CFPB has provided a great opportunity to learn about consumer financial protection laws and regulations. To date, he has done work in the areas of mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and payday lending. CFPB laws are similar to insurance laws with focus on consumer protection areas such as disclosures. In fact one of the new agency’s regulations, the Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Acts or Practices regulation, is similar to New York’s Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act.
Mitch has been at CFPB for over a year and continues to enjoy the work and the challenge. One of his greatest challenges was learning the banking business, but he says the agency provides plenty of classroom training and the experienced staff is quite helpful with filling in gaps. CFPB has a great website that he recommends to all NYSID alums who want to learn more about banking financial products (www.consumerfinance.gov). The agency also continues to hire so those alums who want to continue working in consumer protection should monitor the site.