Richard Cordray announced that he will be stepping down as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by the end of the month. In an email to employees, Cordray wrote, “I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public” as reported by CNBC.
Cordray was confirmed as the head of the CFPB in 2013 after being nominated by President Obama in 2012. Since its fruition, many financial parties have complained that the CFPB has overstepped its bounds in industry regulation. However, the CFPB under Cordray has also pulled off a few big headline moves.
Last year, the CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay $185 million in fines after secretly opening phony accounts that weren’t approved by customers. According to the agency, Wells Fargo employees opened the accounts so they would receive bonuses for meeting sales goals.
Earlier this year, some controversy was stirred up when the CFPB logged a lawsuit against Navient for allegedly misleading student loan borrowers during repayment. While that lawsuit was fought successfully, it did bring awareness to student loan servicer interaction with consumers. Many of these problems were discovered through the consumer complaint database run by the CFPB.
Last month, the agency suffered a major setback when the government blocked an agency rule that would allow consumers to sue their banks under class-action lawsuits.
Since his impending resignation broke the headlines, there has been a mixed bag of responses.
Jeb Hensarling, a Republican Congressman from Texas, called Cordray “a dictator” during a hearing in March. Upon learning of Cordray’s resignation, Hensarling stated, “We are long overdue for new leadership at the CFPB, a rogue agency that has done more to hurt consumers than help them.”
Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts who had a hand in establishing the agency, referred to Cordray as a “tireless public servant.” She added that the next CFPB director “must be someone with a track record of protecting consumers…This is no place for another Trump-appointed industry hack.”
However, reactions from the White House were notably muted. When asked for comment, the deputy press secretary simply stated they would start looking for a replacement.
Cordray, whose term doesn’t end until next summer, did not explain the reasoning behind his timing. Many have speculated that Cordray his plans to run for governor of Ohio. If he does indeed plan to run, he would need to announce his candidacy by February.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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