Welcome back to Opportunity Fund’s continuing series on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Our past blogs have focused on the roles and responsibilities of the CFPB as well as the CFPB’s Small Business Lending Data Collection mandate outlined in Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act.
Strong leadership of the CFPB is critical to fulfilling its mission to protect consumers. Following the departure of CFPB Director Richard Cordray in early November, a battle over the directorship has commenced with different successors appointed by outgoing Director Cordray and the White House.
This has created a showdown between the two appointees that is currently making its way through the judicial system. While the outcome of the debate is unclear, what is clear is that the CFPB, under Director Cordray’s leadership, defended millions of consumers from financial abuse; created a robust framework for oversight throughout the financial system sending millions of dollars back to wronged consumers; and created rules and regulations cutting down on high-cost, predatory lending. The CFPB is also in the midst of setting up an essential regulatory framework for the collection of data on small business lending, for which there is currently no national data set to analyze trends and practices (predatory or otherwise).
At the core of the CFPB’s mission is the protection of American livelihoods and communities from financial institutions that might otherwise strip them of their wealth through predatory or abusive practices. Established in the wake of the Great Recession, the CFPB is a vanguard for the American consumer that ensures a more just financial system, thus increasing consumer trust in and access to financial services.
Regardless of the outcome of this battle over the Directorship, it is imperative that the CFPB remain a robust, independent protector of American consumers and continue its mission of consumer financial protection.