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CFPB Director Cordray's Resignation 'Completes Team Trump Take-Over'

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is (although, at this point, we should probably use the word was) the federal agency responsible for holding the financial industry accountable to abuses perpetrated against consumers.

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A Mission of Protecting Consumers

Created under the Obama Administration in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the CFPB's mission is consumer protection - regulating banks, lenders, loan providers, etc., to "protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law."

As the Washington Post reports, director Richard Cordray is stepping down, amid speculation that he may run for governor of Ohio, although whether he runs or not is beside the point: Cordray and his agency's actions in recent years, since the CFPB's creation in 2011, haven't been looked upon fondly by Republican lawmakers, President Trump, and the financial industry.

We use the word was in the first paragraph of this blog post not because the CFPB will no longer exist with Cordray's resignation, but because the next director will be a Trump appointment, and the CFPB will presumably not hold the financial industry accountable in quite the same way as it has since 2011. The marketing copy on the CFPB's website may remain the same, but the agency's enforcement actions won't.

The CFPB Went After Wells Fargo for Financial Abuses

For example, as we wrote in September of last year, Wells Fargo settled with Los Angeles for $185 million over the fake bank accounts Wells Fargo employees opened for customers in order to meet sales goals. According to a CFPB analysis (on a side note, it's likely that the CFPB won't be doing many of these analyses in the future under the Trump Administration), these fake accounts amounted to $2 million in fees accrued to Wells Fargo customers. Los Angeles was just one entity that settled with Wells Fargo over the financial abuse.

$11.9 Billion Recovered for American Consumers

The CFPB itself has recovered $11.9 billion (as of 20 July 2017) for American consumers due to its enforcement actions, as represented on the CFPB's website. Expect that number to remain largely unchanged in the years to come. The Washington Post quotes a financial analyst in its report: With Cordray having stepped down, this will "complete the Team Trump takeover of the regulatory agencies."

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