United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
CFPB
Agency overview
Formed July 21, 2011
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executive Richard Cordray (if confirmed by the U.S. Senate)
Raj Date (special advisor)
Website
consumerfinance.gov

The United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the federal agency that holds primary responsibility for regulating consumer protection in the United States. On July 17, 2011, President Barack Obama, who supported the establishment of the new agency, chose Richard Cordray, a former Attorney General of Ohio, as his nominee to be the first Director of the CFPB. Elizabeth Warren, special consultant in charge of implementing the bureau, was passed over.[1] The bureau, which began operation on July 21, 2011, resulted from the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act during the 111th United States Congress in response to the Late-2000s recession and financial crisis.[2]

The CFPB opened its website in early February 2011 to accept suggestions from consumers via YouTube, Twitter and its own website interface. According to the United States Treasury Department, the bureau is tasked with the responsibility to "promote fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services."[3] According to the bureau's own webpage, "The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans—whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products."[4] The jurisdiction of the bureau includes banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies, and its most pressing concerns are mortgages, credit cards and student loans, according to incoming enforcement chief, Richard Cordray.[2][5]

The bureau will be an independent unit located inside and funded by the United States Federal Reserve, with interim affiliation with the U.S. Treasury Department. It will write and enforce bank rules, conduct bank examinations, monitor and report on markets, as well as collect and track consumer complaints.[5]

From the outset, the structure of the organization was contested. On July 17, Cordray was selected over Warren as the head of the entire CFPB.[6] However, his nomination was immediately in jeopardy because 44 Senate Republicans had previously vowed to derail any nominee in order to encourage a decentralized structure to the organization. Senate Republicans had also shown a pattern of refusing to consider regulatory agency nominees, purportedly as a method of budget cutting.[7] Others have suggested that Republicans have blocked Obama's nominations at a rate that has caused him to amass a record low level of nomination successes and a long list of notable failed nominations primarily for political gain.[8][9] On July 21, Senator Richard Shelby wrote an op-ed article for The Wall Street Journal affirming continued opposition (that went back to a May 5 letter to the President) to a centralized structure, noting that both the Securities Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had executive boards and that the CFPB should be no different. He noted lessons learned from experiences with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as support for his argument.[10] Politico interpreted Shelby's statements as saying that Cordray's nomination was "Dead on Arrival".[11]

List of Directors of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Parties

      Democratic       Republican

Status
  Denotes Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
- Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren Massachusetts September 17, 2010 August 1, 2011 Barack Obama
- Raj Date Raj Date Massachusetts August 1, 2011 Incumbent

Notes

  1. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (2011-07-17). "Former Ohio Attorney General Picked to Lead Consumer Agency". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/business/former-ohio-attorney-general-picked-to-lead-consumer-agency.html. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b Eaglesham, Jean (2011-02-09). "Warning Shot On Financial Protection". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703507804576130370862263258.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  3. ^ "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Website Launched and Open for Suggestions". Mybanktracker.com. 2011-02-07. http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2011/02/07/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-website-launched-open-suggestions/. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  4. ^ "Learn About the Bureau". United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/the-bureau/. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  5. ^ a b Warren, Elizabeth (2010-09-14). "FACTBOX-New US consumer financial bureau has wide powers". Reuters. http://blogs.reuters.com/financial-regulatory-forum/2010/09/14/factbox-new-us-consumer-financial-bureau-has-wide-powers/. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  6. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (2011-07-17). "Former Ohio Attorney General Picked to Lead Consumer Agency". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/business/former-ohio-attorney-general-picked-to-lead-consumer-agency.html. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  7. ^ Wyatt, Edward (2011-07-18). "Dodd-Frank Under Fire a Year Later". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/business/dodd-frank-under-fire-a-year-later.html. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  8. ^ Shakir, Faiz (2011-07-20). "Richard Cordray and the CFPB: Let the nominee speak". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cordray-and-the-cfpb-let-the-nominee-speak/2011/07/20/gIQAGEQcQI_story.html. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  9. ^ Bendery, Jennifer (2011-09-07). "Obama’s Consumer Protection Nominee Ensnared In Political Fight". News Wire. http://www.vxec.com/2011/09/obamas-consumer-protection-nominee-ensnared-in-political-fight. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  10. ^ Shelby, Richard (2011-07-21). "The Danger of an Unaccountable 'Consumer-Protection' Czar: The SEC and FDIC are led by boards. Why should one person have sweeping powers over the economy?". The Wall Street Journal. p. A17. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903554904576457931310814462.html. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  11. ^ Epstein, Reid J. (2011-07-21). "Richard Shelby: Richard Cordray is DOA". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59545.html. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 

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