California Reinvestment Coalition

California Reinvestment Coalition Statement on CFPB Leadership Transition

Published November 27, 2017 19:57

In response to the current controversy surrounding the successor to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, released the following statement:

“Leandra English should be recognized as the legal and rightful director of the CFPB following the resignation of Director Richard Cordray. Until the Senate confirms a new director, Acting Director English is in that post and must continue to lead the CFPB in its work on behalf of American consumers. Attempting to install Mick Mulvany, an outspoken critic of the CFPB whose largest donors during his political career were from the financial services industry itself, is nothing less than a coup d’état of the CFPB by Trump.

“The CFPB was created as an independent agency under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in the wake of the Great Recession to ensure that American consumers are treated fairly by banks, lenders, and other financial companies. On November 24th, CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced that he was stepping down and appointed Leandra English to the position of deputy director. The Dodd-Frank Act specifically provides that the deputy director assumes the office of acting director if the director is absent or unavailable, until the Senate confirms a new director.

“Before the close of business on the same day, however, President Trump appointed the incumbent director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, who once called the CFPB “a sick, sad” joke, as acting director. In a year of record bank profits, it is difficult to understand how installing a leader who has advocated gutting the CFPB could improve performance in the sector without bringing about the kind of corporate recklessness that led to the last financial crisis and devastated consumers. The appointment of Mick Mulvaney to lead the bureau is an overreach of executive power by the Trump administration, and a cynical attempt to bring the agency under the control of the banks and Wall Street firms it was designated to oversee.

“The CFPB has recovered $12 billion for American consumers who were ripped off by unscrupulous players in the financial services industry. From leading a record enforcement action in response to the Wells Fargo fake checking account scandal to instituting new rules that curb predatory payday lending, the CFPB has performed as the top cop on the financial beat. The agency has worked tirelessly to ensure that banks and financial companies operate on behalf of working families, including low-income communities and communities of color. Maintaining the agency's independence is critical during the transition to a new director.”

For more information, contact John Hoffman jhoffman@calreinvest.org.

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CRC has a membership of over 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.