This week, Richard Cordray handed in his resignation as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The early resignation comes at a time of increased criticism over current financial regulations and an uncertain outlook for many regulatory bodies. The CFPB especially, has been subject of intense criticism from the financial industry as overbearing and stifling.
As Director, Cordray was very much the face and voice of the bureau. Under Cordray, the Consumer Bureau held very close to the guiding tenets under which it was created: to protect financial consumers from unethical behavior. His departure leaves senior officials in the bureau and supporting lawmakers scrambling to secure the future of the CFPB against a regulatory overhaul.
What exactly is the CFPB?
You’ve probably heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but you may not be entirely sure what it actually does. For those of you who aren’t aware, the CFPB is governmental oversight and regulating body that monitors the financial industry and protects consumers from predatory or unethical behavior.
The bureau was formed as a measure under the Dodd-Frank Act, the legislation that provided much of the framework for our financial regulation post-recession. Its strict oversight and regulation has definitely come as a benefit to consumers, but businesses and banks have railed against it for its perceived overreach and autonomy.
Along with regulatory oversight, the CFPB also provides a platform to empower consumers. In addition to providing educational resources to consumers, the bureau has made complaint filing much more accessible improving transparency between consumers and the banking industry.
Uncertain future the bureau
Many Republican lawmakers have expressed criticism over the CFPB. Additionally, it has long been the subject of attack from the Trump Administration. Many experts believe that, with Cordray’s departure the bureau will almost certainly be placed in the cross-hairs as the administration considers a major financial regulation review.