The CFPB and banks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helped consumers again (you can see more details here):

Citigroup will refund $700 million to consumers and pay $70 million in fines for illegal and deceptive credit card practices, the bank and federal regulators said.

Tuesday’s order, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is part of the latest multimillion dollar settlement with the largest credit card issuers for their role in selling ‘‘add-on’’ products to customers, such as credit score monitoring and ‘‘rush’’ processing of payments. Bank of America reached a similar, slightly larger settlement with regulators in 2014, and JPMorgan Chase was fined in 2013.

The Bureau is trying to play up its successes and it’s pretty impressive:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in the wake of the financial meltdown to stand up for consumers and make sure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace. One way we accomplish this mission is by enforcing consumer protection laws, holding law breakers accountable for their actions. Since 2011, we have secured over $10.8 billion dollars in relief for more than 25 million consumers harmed by illegal practices.

Of course this means many Republicans are against it (and the Dodd-Frank bill that created it). Kevin Drum has a sensible comment:

This actually brings up a point worth repeating: one of the prices we pay for extreme political polarization is the inability to tweak big laws after they’re passed. No Democrat would claim that Obamacare is perfect, for example. With a few years of experience under our belts, there are some things we now recognize could have been done better. But it’s impossible to tweak the law because Republicans flatly refuse to cooperate. It’s repeal or nothing. To their base, tweaking the law would be a tacit admission that Obamacare can be improved, and that’s effectively treason to the cause. It’s a socialist nightmare and it has to be torn out root and branch, period.

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