April 12, 2011
Washington, DC – April 2011 is National Financial Literacy Month. In support of the important goals of empowering Americans through financial education, Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will host an open public meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2011, to better understand the best practices and design of consumer education models being used today. This meeting will engage the expertise and experience of individuals, organizations, and fellow regulators at the forefront of financial literacy, education, and outreach to explore how the CFTC can leverage their knowledge as it takes steps to reorganize its own consumer education program.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), in part, aims at restoring financial stability through the establishment and enforcement of robust consumer financial protections. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, amended the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) by adding Section 23(g), which establishes within the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund that will be available to the CFTC for the payment of whistleblower awards and education initiatives. This new Customer Protection Fund will be fully funded by civil monetary penalties collected through the Commission’s enforcement program. During fiscal year 2010, the CFTC’s enforcement efforts resulted in the imposition of more than $136 million in civil monetary penalties.
“In times of tight resources, this new authority provides an invaluable source of funding. We shouldn’t waste any time in setting up a new office to educate and inform the public about their rights as investors and consumers. Utilizing even a fraction of the available funding, the Commission could make massive strives towards building a program that fosters informed decision-making by investors through education and outreach,” stated Commissioner O’Malia.
Representatives from money managers, financial services firms, industry and consumer advocacy groups, exchanges, self-regulatory organizations, and other federal financial regulatory agencies have been invited to engage in a three-panel roundtable with a goal of defining the scope of a consumer education and outreach program aimed at educating the general public and specific target groups by providing quality information and resources that allow individuals to evaluate their capacity to invest in the futures, options, and other derivatives markets (e.g., swaps) and avoid becoming a victim of fraud and other abuse.
“More and more people are looking at commodities as an asset class for diversifying their portfolios, and financial services firms are moving quickly to meet demand for new and innovative products for marketing to pension funds, endowments, and individuals. As our markets go mainstream, the CFTC must ensure that we serve the American public as a trusted source of information. Our mission should go beyond protecting consumers from fraud, deception, and unfair business practices. I am especially pleased to be hosting this roundtable during National Financial Literacy Month,” stated Commissioner O’Malia.
This meeting is not part of the Technology Advisory Committee and it will not be webcast. However, there will be a dial-in number which is set forth below and the meeting in its entirety will be podcast.
The CFTC will host the meeting at its Headquarters’ Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Members of the public interested in participating can visit the CFTC website for more information, www.cftc.gov.
Consumer Education Meeting
CFTC Headquarters Conference Center, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20581
April 28, 2011
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Listening Information: The CFTC has made available a toll-free telephone line to connect to a live audio feed.
Call in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below:
Domestic Toll Free: 1-866-844-9416
List of Participants as of April 12, 2011. This list will be updated as needed.
Last Updated: April 12, 2011