GAO’s workforce is generally organized into 14 mission teams. Today we'll be putting the spotlight on the Financial Markets and Community Investment (FMCI) team. FMCI supports Congress by helping ensure the effectiveness of regulatory oversight in financial and housing markets, and assessing the effectiveness of federal initiatives aimed at small businesses, state and local governments, and communities. Reports FMCI team reports cover 5 issue areas:
- Financial Markets: This fiscal year, one report examined government support for banks and another report discussed the status of international financial reform efforts and the U.S. role.
- Housing: We issued a report examining the effectiveness of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s efforts to promote self-sufficiency among residents.
- Community Investment: We have reviewed how the Economic Development Administration documented its grant decisions under its two largest programs.
- Small Businesses: Our work in this area includes a report that examined the Treasury Department’s management of the State Small Business Credit Initiative; and a report that examined the Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express pilot loan program, which provided credit to veteran-owned small businesses.
- Consumer Protection: We have issued a report on the effectiveness of federal financial literacy activities; and a report on the lack of comprehensive federal protections for consumer data collected and sold by information resellers.
Excerpted from GAO-14-91College cards can benefit students and schools, but concerns exist about fees, student choice, and transparency. Students may not be getting information that enables them to adequately assess whether a college card best meets their individual needs and is the most cost-effective choice for receiving student aid. We asked Congress to consider requiring that financial firms providing card services to colleges file their agreements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for public review. We also recommended that the Department of Education, in consultation with CFPB, develop requirements for schools and card providers to present students with objective and neutral information on their options for receiving federal student aid payments.