January 17, 2017

Banking Committee Democrats: Trump Administration Needs Cordray as Consumer Watchdog

Text of the letter available here (PDF)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of Senate Banking Committee Democrats today praised Richard Cordray's outstanding work as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), emphasizing the need for his leadership at the agency in President-elect Donald Trump's Administration.

In a letter to Cordray, whose term expires in July 2018, the Senators highlighted his accomplishments as the nation's top consumer watchdog in protecting servicemembers, seniors, students, and other hardworking Americans from abusive financial products. Since opening its doors in 2011, the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion to the pockets of 29 million Americans who have been cheated by shadowy debt collectors, for-profit schools, and payday lenders, according to the agency. That total is in addition to tough fines against banks, including the $100 million Wells Fargo paid the federal government for its fraudulent accounts scheme.

"Under your leadership, the CFPB has worked to protect servicemembers, seniors, students, and working families of all backgrounds from predatory financial schemes and illegal discrimination," the Senators wrote. "We hope you continue to lead the charge against companies that take advantage of hardworking Americans."

The Senators noted that polling shows the vast majority of Americans agree that the CFPB is doing great work. Seventy-one percent of Americans -- Republicans and Democrats -- approve of the CFPB's mission, and 55 percent of Republicans who voted for President-Elect Trump believe that the CFPB should be left alone to continue its work or even be given expanded authority to do more to protect American families.

The letter was signed by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Banking Committee's Ranking Member, and Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney General, has led the CFPB since Congress created the agency under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. His nomination received support from attorneys general from almost every state and other law enforcements groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police.

During Cordray's tenure, the Senators wrote, the CFPB has received praise from civil rights groups, consumer advocates, and financial industry organizations such as the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and the Ohio Bankers League.

The full text of the Senators' letter is available here