Elizabeth Warren, the person charged with establishing the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), discussed new technology investigatory techniques in a recent interview with National Journal. Warren, on a Silicon Valley tour to further develop these new methods, described the use of “crowd-sourcing” and other real-time information gathering techniques to quickly identify issues impacting consumers. According to Warren, utilizing the ability to amass information quickly will result in faster and more efficient investigations within the CFPB and will require that banks and other covered institutions be more responsive to regulators and consumers.
Utilizing new technology in regulatory investigations certainly makes sense, but harnessing the information and resources necessary to use it in a meaningful manner will be a challenge. Only time will tell if Ms. Warren is successful in leveraging new technology. What is clear, however, is that Ms. Warren is crafting an agenda for the CFPB that will focus on swiftly identifying issues that impact consumers and putting regulatory and market pressures on businesses to ensure compliant practices.
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