Consumer Financial Protection Initiative:

How Local Government Can Back its Most Vulnerable Communities

What Is Local Consumer Financial Protection?

Local governments can leverage their position and authority to protect residents' personal finances from unfair and deceptive practices in the consumer marketplace. This protection can include licensing, regulation, enforcement, mediation, alerts, and education.

Local consumer protection agencies can be nimble, responsive, and demonstrate tangible efforts to protect residents and safeguard financial empowerment gains by utilizing government authority to: educate businesses about consumer protection laws; regulate industries that impact vulnerable consumers; bring enforcement actions against bad actors; and focus policy priorities on protecting consumers’ critical financial assets.

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The CFE Fund’s Local Consumer Financial Protection Initiative

Over a decade ago, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, and former New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz started to help local governments across the country develop and enhance their capacity to offer their residents consumer financial protection and empowerment. Thanks to their work, and with generous seed funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund has developed its Local Consumer Financial Protection Initiative (CFPI) model to help municipal partners launch offices of consumer protection, develop consumer complaint infrastructure, identify enforcement priorities, and pursue legislative opportunities.

To date, the CFE Fund has supported 15 cities directly to explore and launch new local consumer financial protection efforts and has convened dozens of other cities and counties who are active in, or exploring, this work.

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The Opportunity Map

This map illustrates the current state of local consumer protection powers around the country, highlighting cities and counties that have the legal authority to build robust initiatives of their own. Click below to see current CFPI partners and offices, as well as “Opportunity Cities” with powerful consumer protection laws already at their disposal.

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Featured Resources

Thanks to our supportive partner:

Anne E. Casey Foundation