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CFPB Asked To Look At Prepaid Cards and Wal-Mart Financial Services

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may change its priorities after holding a town hall meeting about bank overdraft fees. Instead of traditional banks, the agency was asked to train its regulatory sights on Wal-Mart.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hosted a town hall in New York City on Wednesday intended to elicit feedback on banks’ overdraft policies, but the event’s focus shifted when under-banked consumers took to the microphone to express discontent with their alternatives to traditional checking accounts, namely prepaid debit cards and check-cashing services.
The questions about alternative financial services and the presence of individuals asking the agency to regulate these services shows the prevalence of people who are looking to companies other than banks for financial services. It also shows that that agency may be prompted to switch its priorities. Prepaid card and other alternative financial services providers should take note of these meetings and consider how they will present their cases to the agency at similar events.
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