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Andrea Mitchell Quoted in Law360 Article, "CFPB Turns to Bully Pulpit to Expand Bank Access"

Andrea K. Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell was quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article,"CFPB Turns to Bully Pulpit to Expand Bank Access," on Thursday, February 4, 2016. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Wednesday letter to the 25 largest retail banks, which urged them to offer low-risk deposit accounts that could attract the millions of people without access to banking services, highlights the limits the bureau faces in trying to solve that thorny problem.

In the letter, the bureau said the banks could reduce the number of people who don't have basic checking accounts by offering low-risk accounts without overdraft protections — and their potential fees — and marketing them in a way that potential customers will see.

While the CFPB also warned banks that they must make sure to submit accurate information about consumers to checking account and other credit reporting agencies, the letter did not include the forceful language that usually comes with bureau communications to the industry.

What was noticeable about the letter was the tone. Many other letters from the CFPB to the industry have had a much sharper edge, making more of a demand than a request.

"There’s a little bit of a flavor of consumer protection in the letter, but with a lighter tone than we’ve seen in other cases,” said Andrea Mitchell, a partner with Buckley Sandler LLP.

And that may reflect a fundamental problem for the CFPB when it comes to the issue of expanding access for the unbanked.

Click here to read the full article at (subscription required).