Fed's James Bullard says funding of consumer bureau a worry

WASHINGTON Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:59pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday funding for a consumer protection office established under regulatory reform laws is not based on a clear sense of how much the bureau needs and is a source of concern.

"The amount of money allocated in the law is not based on a careful assessment of what the needs of the bureau will be as it attempts to fulfill the mandate of the Congress," he said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference at the St. Louis Fed. A text of his remarks was made available in Washington.

Bullard, a voter this year on the Fed's policy-setting panel, did not comment on the outlook for Fed policies or the economy.

Bullard did not specify whether he thought funding for the bureau was inadequate. However, he said the bureau would perform a significant function in writing consumer protection rules that apply to all banks and other types of lenders and in examining big banks' consumer protection performance.

"Setting up the bureau and meeting its congressional mandates is no small task," he said.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Andrew Hay)

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