Last month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported a new initiative to focus on financial issues facing rural America. On April 19, 2022, the CFPB issued a report on the challenges faced by Americans in rural communities. The report highlights that many of these communities lack access to physical bank branches, are more likely to seek credit from nonbanks, and are heavily affected by medical bills. The CFPB will be expanding its efforts to address these and other challenges facing the people and families of rural America.

The CFPB has launched a new Rural Initiative to focus its authorities and resources to address the particular needs of rural communities. The CFPB has begun making a concerted effort to work with government and civil society stakeholders to establish lines of communication and gain more visibility into the most pressing consumer finance issues in rural areas. Specifically, the CFPB will:

  • Dig deeper to understand the unique needs of rural communities by analyzing data and developing effective ways for the people living in those communities to file complaints.
  • Hear directly from rural communities and the financial institutions that serve them.
  • Work with federal partners to meet the needs of rural communities.

The CFPB continues to talk about the issue. No specific actions are mandated yet. We will continue to monitor the topic.