The White House on Thursday appointed Holly Petraeus to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau post designed to protect military members from auto loan abuses and other scams.
Petraeus, the wife of Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, will head the Office of Servicemember Affairs, which seeks to help military families with financial burdens and educate them on abusive lending techniques.
The office in the new consumer agency was created in response to concerns expressed by high-level Pentagon officials about dealers' exploitation of young service members shopping near U.S. military bases.
The Pentagon lost a legislative battle with the National Automobile Dealers Association to have dealers overseen by the new agency.
Instead, only financial institutions such as banks and credit unions that make consumer auto loans will fall under its purview. Dealers who assist in the financing will be exempt.
Dealers are regulated instead by state consumer agencies and the Federal Trade Commission.
The consumer agency was created to oversee consumer financial products such as mortgages and credit cards following the recent economic meltdown. It is being shepherded into existence by White House adviser Elizabeth Warren, and is due to be up and running this summer.