The new Consumer Financial Services Bureau, created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is getting off the ground. The new agency has broad authority to regulate mortgages, credit cards, payday loans, and many other financial products in the consumer marketplace, and will begin operations on July 21.

Alan Kaplinsky, Chair of the Consumer Financial Services Group at Ballard Spahr, said the changes will be immense. "The authority the Bureau will have is overwhelming in terms of rule writing, supervision, and enforcement. There is a lot of anxiety among banks and non-banks about where the Bureau is headed." In preparation for the CFPB’s arrival, Kaplinsky said, "Banks need to review everything they’re doing in the consumer financial services area." In particular, he said, firms should review their offering in mortgages and credit cards, two areas that temporary leader of the Bureau Elizabeth Warren has targeted as priorities.