Federal Consumer Watchdog Readies to Bare Its Teeth

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is entering 2013 poised to flex its muscles more vigorously than ever before.

The youngest U.S. financial regulator, created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, spent last year working through a list of studies and rules required by the law.

“They are now freed from some of the procedural shackles” posed by the Dodd-Frank to-do list and will have wide latitude to focus on other areas of consumer finance, said an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading.

He also noted that the bureau has no shortage of cash to spend on its work: the bureau left unspent nearly $44 million of its $343 million 2012 budget.

Areas in which the agency is expected to act include overdraft fees, student lending, debt collectors and credit-reporting firms.

Story by Victoria McGrane at the Wall Street Journal.

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