The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accepting comments from U.S. military members and financial institutions about the products currently catered to men and women who serve in the armed forces. The CFPB said it will use the feedback to inform the Office of Servicemember Affairs as they construct financial education and outreach programs for military families. The program, which is part of CFPB, was outlined in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to help military families choose stronger financial services and products. The program is headed by Holly Petraeus, the wife of former U.S. General David Petreus, who now leads the Central Intelligence Agency. “Military families face unique challenges especially when it comes to their finances,” said Holly Petraeus, assistant director for the office of Servicemember Affairs. “We believe that open dialogue is key to addressing these challenges. By identifying the products and services that aim to assist their particular needs, our office will be able to better serve servicemembers and their families.” The OSA is asking the public and financial institutions for feedback on products and services offered to military families, input on financial education, as well as specifics on programs created for servicemembers that already exceed those required by statute. The OSA also is requesting data on what type of assistance programs have been set up to help struggling military families. The CFPB has plans to study marketing and communication strategies employed to reach military members and their families, so the agency is requesting feedback on what strategies are the most effective in connecting with the target audience. Public comments can be submitted online. The open feedback period will end 14 days after the notice is officially published by the government. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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