The Society’s 3-year strategic cycle culminates in an International Conference when our Directors and Volunteer leaders from around the globe come together with headquarters personnel. This year’s keynote speaker was Mrs. Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director of the Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) leading the Office of Servicemember Affairs.
Mrs. Petraeus began with a brief history of the CFPB which was established in July 2011 as a result of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. An independent federal agency, the CFPB is funded from the Federal Reserve Bank as a Federal regulator.
The CFPB performs regulatory oversight and enforcement authority over a whole range of institutions that provide financial services and products, not just banks and federal credit unions but also non-bank financial players like mortgage brokers, pay-day lenders, private student lenders and the largest players among debt collectors and credit reporting agencies. Her office is specifically tasked by federal statute to:
- Ensure military personnel receive strong financial education to make better informed consumer decisions.
- Monitor and respond to military personnel complaints to the CFPB about consumer financial products and service.
- Work with other federal agencies to ensure military personnel are protected under the consumer protection rules and regulations.
A military spouse, Mrs. Petraeus is keenly aware of the financial challenges and consumer issues faced by active duty, National Guard, reservists and military retirees. She shared her priorities and her office’s early accomplishments. She also helped Society Directors understand the CFPB complaint process and resources available for service members to file complaints.
“Consumer financial issues are not a stand-alone problem,” Mrs. Petraeus stated, “but are inextricably involved in the mental health issues and other related problems faced by our combat veterans and service members and their families.”