The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau underwent some leadership updates as of January, and Rohit Chopra—a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission—is currently in line for the director slot. Gary Gensler, formerly a banker, was also nominated to become the next chair of the SEC. These two will spearhead the current administration’s federal regulation efforts, making their introduction pivotal to entrepreneurs across the board.
This pick makes a strong opening statement for the administration’s regulatory tone, with a clear emphasis on what some call “protecting unsophisticated investors” in the coming years. Between Chopra focusing on reprioritizing the protection and safety of consumers via CFPB reform and Gensler tightening back up SEC regulations in the wake of the prior administration’s regulatory stance, entrepreneurs can expect some substantial changes.
Those changes will stretch to include anything from fundraising to the way corporations advertise and distribute things like credit services and student loans.
Additionally, the new regulatory team will address the way that large corporations—specifically Facebook—operate regarding privacy and other sensitive issues attributed to social media. Chopra has a personal record of criticizing the FTC for their perceptibly lenient actions against Facebook, so it seems reasonable to expect that his position will involve increasing regulations for how Facebook—and similar companies—advertise and treat consumers.
Obviously, there’s a lot to address whenever a new team enters the federal landscape, and it can take some time for the ramifications of such a transition to become clear. However, entrepreneurs across the board can expect stricter advertising guidelines and the potential for tightened restrictions on web-based outreach—something that, when paired with Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies, could make for a tough environment.
Business owners can also probably expect more regulatory scrutiny regarding things like fundraising and day-to-day operations. While it can be difficult to plan for the exact kind of scrutiny these corporations will face, now would be a good time for those owners to speak with their HR departments to ensure that all of the necessary documents are in order to expedite any forthcoming demands.