State attorneys general and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officials on Monday agreed to cooperate on enforcement actions and work together to prevent evasions of consumer protection laws.
"By working together, we can make the whole greater than the sum of the parts," said Elizabeth Warren, who is leading the Treasury Department's efforts to get the CFPB up and running by July 21.
Congress created the CFPB as part of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act and also gave the state AGs powers to enforce some of CFPB's regulations and statutes.
Warren noted that federal banking regulators "impeded" state and federal cooperation during the subprime lending boom. But the new consumer protection bureau is responsible for supervision and enforcement of the consumer protection laws with respect to the largest federally chartered banks, thrifts and credit unions as well as nonbank residential lenders.
This mission will be a "substantial undertaking," Warren told the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) at their spring meeting in Charlotte, N.C. on Monday. "That is why we view the state attorneys general as indispensible partners."
CFPB and NAAG officials have agreed to develop joint training programs, share information on state and federal law developments, and set up communication channels.
"We also hope to support each other, when it is appropriate, in enforcement actions and to work together to prevent evasions of the law," Warren said.