Consumer Bureau: A Job Creator?

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A government crackdown on bad practices in the financial industry is scaring some companies into lawyering up.

As politicians debate the economy and how to create more private sector jobs, CNN has an interesting story: how a government agency is creating lots of profitable work for lawyers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), launched over a year ago, is designed to fight for consumer rights. Recently it’s been explaining how messy credit scores are, fined Capital One and Discover about $200 million each for deceptive marketing of credit add-on services, and just ordered American Express to repay customers $85 million. So far it’s been slapping big banks around, but as CNN explains, other industries not used to this oversight are panicking and law firms are stepping in…

Ballard Spahr’s [Alan] Kaplinsky likened the CFPB to a “three-headed monster,” with a regulatory head that makes new rules, a supervisory head that examines the books of financial companies, and an enforcement head that cracks down on companies.

Ballard Spahr’s CFPB team helps about 125 clients fend off these three “heads” — which is especially crucial for nonbank companies like private student lenders and payday lenders since they have never been subject to ongoing federal supervision before, he said.

Kaplinsky leads Ballard Spahr’s consumer finances division, where “CFPB-related work has increased the division’s revenue by about 50 percent since its creation.”

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