DOD, Financial Protection Bureau Underscore Partnership
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2012 Defense Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials attended a Pentagon ceremony here today where they signed a joint statement of shared principles that underscores their partnership to protect the finances of service members.
Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, and Holly Petreaus, who heads the office of service members affairs for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, prepare to sign a joint statement of principles for protecting service members and their families from financial and consumer fraud and abuse during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., May 4, 2012. DOD photo by Steven Wood
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy who signed for the department, said the ceremony was another example of the DOD and the bureau coming together to protect service members.
“This is just the beginning,” Gordon said, “… as we think of novel and new ways to form a great partnership for our community.”
Holly Petraeus, who signed for the bureau and leads its office of service member affairs, said the ceremony was “an outward expression of what we’re already doing.”
Petraeus, wife of retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus who now serves as CIA director, said it was important to put on paper DOD’s and the bureau’s shared interests. As spelled out in the statement, those include:
-- Protecting service members and their families from illegal consumer financial practices and products;
-- Enabling the department and the bureau to provide input to each other to reduce financial risk for service members and their families;
-- Working together to address consumer financial concerns of military members and their families;
-- Reducing risk in the small-dollar lending market; and
-- Supporting financial literacy among service members and their families.
The statement says the department and bureau will work together to monitor market trends directed at service members and their families, coordinate consumer protection measures, identify risky small-dollar loans, and identify ways to improve laws related to financial protection of military members and their families.
“We feel that financial fitness is part of resilience and it’s part of readiness for our service members and their families,” Gordon said.
Too often, Petraeus said, scam artists prey on service members and their families and many have learned how to get around the language of the law. Service members and their families, she said, should take any concerns about financial and consumer protection to their installation’s financial or legal offices.
“That can hold off a lot of trouble,” Petraeus said.