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 Consumer Policy

The Office of Consumer Policy leads the Department’s work to ensure that every American has access to safe and affordable financial products and services, and clear information that enables individuals to make sound financial decisions. The office is engaged in policy development in the areas of consumer financial education and capability; emerging payments platforms; technology to improve consumers’ financial choices; systems to ensure privacy and data security; and related topics. In support of this work, the office provides leadership for the Federal interagency Task Force on Smart Disclosure, the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, and coordinates the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.

Overview of Consumer Policy Topics

Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund
Finance Data
Financial Education and Capability
Recent Resources

 

Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund

The Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund, which will be launched in 2014, will support the development and evaluation of new strategies to promote access to financial services and improve the financial capability of American families.  Treasury seeks to award up to approximately $6,000,000 in support for research contracts to test and evaluate projects in three main areas:

  • Payments – cutting edge strategies for using the disbursement of payments–particularly government payments–as a vehicle to increase access to financial services, facilitate personal savings, and promote effective financial decision-making by the payment recipients. 
  • Higher Education Decision-Making – new methods, products, and tools to help individuals and families navigate financial decision-making around post-secondary education, student financial aid, and repaying student loans.
  • Financial Capability – new strategies for delivering effective financial education, including use of new technology and personalized interventions. 

Read More........

 

Finance Data

The Office of Consumer Policy is collaborating with agencies across the government to develop policies and best practices for opening-up government-held data. Expanding access to government data can be useful for individuals in their financial decision-making and can enable entrepreneurs to develop new data-driven tools for consumers. The office hosts the

Finance Data Directory which provides brief descriptions of several government-held data sets relevant for consumers, entrepreneurs, developers, and investors. The directory includes links for learning more and accessing and sharing the data. The data directory is part of a larger collection of publicly-available government data found at www.data.gov .

 

 

Financial Education and Capability
 
President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans This Advisory Council is developing recommendations for the President on strategies to increase the financial decision-making skills of young Americans. The Council consists of a group of distinguished leaders from the private sector and Federal, State and local government. Federal members include the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Education, and the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Read More …

 

This interagency body coordinates the federal government’s work in financial literacy and financial education.  The Commission hosts MyMoney.gov a one-stop shop for educational resources focused on five key topics for managing and growing your money. The site is also home to the Commission’s Research and Data Clearinghouse.  Read More…

 

 

Recent Research

The following are highlights of recent analyses funded by the Office.  The Research Archive provides information on past projects.
 
Assessing Financial Capability Outcomes (2014)
This initiative included two related research projects on strategies for increasing financial knowledge and capability of elementary school students and adults with low incomes.  
 
 
Financial Education and Account Access Among Elementary Students - Analyzed the effects of combining classroom financial education with access to savings accounts for school-aged children.The research  examined how these strategies can affect elementary-age students' financial knowledge, savings practices, and attitudes and confidence in their financial actions.         
                Research Brief.  
                Final Report
                Lessons from the Field
 
Financial Counseling and Access for the Financially Vulnerable -- Examined the effects of offering workplace financial counseling and bank account access to adults who are transitioning off of public benefits.
                  Research Brief 
                  Final Report
 

 Tax Time Account Direct Mail Pilot Evaluation   (2012)
Report on a Treasury pilot of cost-effective methods to transition the delivery of tax refunds from paper checks to electronic payments.  The pilot offered low- and moderate-income tax filers a safe, low-cost account card for the electronic delivery of their federal tax refunds.  The study analyzed how card features and marketing messaging affected adoption and use of the accounts.

                  Final Report

Last Updated: 5/16/2014 11:13 AM