No More 'Fooling People' For Credit Firms: Warren


The intent of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not to make life tougher for banks but rather better for their customers, the organization's czar, Elizabeth Warren, told CNBC.

Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren listens during a hearing before the Congressional Oversight Panel that was created to oversee the expenditure of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
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Speaking a week after President Obama skirted Congress and named Warren to a special advisory role to head the bureau, Warren said she didn't understand the political opposition to her appointment and was determined to push ahead.

"The truth is I don't care about the title. I want to get to work trying to get this agency going because that's what middle class families need. We've got a broken market," she said. "It's a political assessment that I just have to say I don't know and I don't think much about it. The part I care about is getting the agency started."

Rather than risk what promised to be a bruising confirmation fight with opposition on both sides of the aisle, Obama named Warren, a Harvard law school professor by trade, as head of an agency that will look to help consumers victimized by unscrupulous credit practices.

As part of that goal, Warren said she's determined to simplify the process consumers go through to apply for credit. That doesn't necessarily have to mean hurting the finance industry, she said.

The New Consumer Watchdog

"What I object to is building a profit model around fooling people," she said. "That is dangerous for families, it's dangerous for our whole economy."

The process also will entail shrinking government bureaucracy. Seven agencies oversee part of a process that now will be brought under one roof for the new bureau and its $440 million budget.

"I hope to work with the industry, to work with consumers to try and find something that works better not just for banks and not just for families but for the whole economy," Warren said. "We brought ourselves to the brink of disaster one bad mortgage at a time, one destroyed family at a time. We've got to fix that."