Thursday, November 16, 2017
Taking an early exit as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray stated in an email to employees on Nov. 15, 2017, his intention to resign by the end of the month. His term was set to expire in July 2018. Since he took the helm as a President Obama appointee, Cordray's sweeping authority and the CFPB's constitutionality itself have been called in question in some sectors and supported in others.
Authorized by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB was established as an independent agency in July 2011. It was created to protect consumers in the financial sector in the aftermath of the financial collapse of 2008 and ensuing Great Recession. The bureau’s jurisdiction spans banks, credit unions, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies operating within the United States.
In the email, Cordray wrote, "Together we have made a real and lasting difference that has improved people's lives, notably: $12 billion in relief recovered for nearly 30 million consumers" and "giving people a voice by handling over 1.3 million complaints that led to problems getting fixed for vast numbers of individuals, and creating new ways to bring financial education to the public so that people can take more control over their economic lives."
Following Cordray’s resignation, Jason Oxman, Chief Executive Officer of the Electronic Transactions Association issued this statement: "We thank Director Cordray for his service at the CFPB and wish him well in his future endeavors. We have appreciated his willingness to listen to input on our shared goal of helping consumers achieve their financial goals. We look forward to working with the White House, Congress, and the CFPB to ensure a regulatory environment that encourages innovation."
During it brief history as an agency, the CFPB has faced scrutiny. Below are excerpts from The Green Sheet and elsewhere describing recent agency developments and actions taken:
Under the current structure, the CFPB director is appointed by the president to serve a five-year term. According to Raj Shah, Principal Deputy Press Secretary at the White House, the Trump administration will name an acting director, as well as a permanent choice to fill Cordray's position "at the appropriate time."
A decision on an interim director could come swiftly; otherwise, David Silberman, the agency's second in command, will take over under current provisions. The nomination of a permanent director is expected to take longer.
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