Despite circulating rumors that his position, and possibly the entire organization that he oversees, will be modified, or even eliminated, Consumer of Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray stated he did not plan on stepping down from his position. Cordray’s tenure will come to its natural conclusion in July of 2018, and he has made it clear that he does not anticipate any unexpected changes in the way the agency operates.
When speaking of the new administration at a Wall Street Journal event, The Hill reports that Cordray stated: “It really shouldn’t change the job at all. We have an independent mandate to do what we do and we’ll continue to work to protect consumers.”
The agency has been a controversial legal topic since a court ruling in October of last year deemed the leadership structure of the CFPB to be unconstitutional, as the organization is the only independent agency wielding executive authority to have a single individual at its head. The court ruling further notes that the intent of Elizabeth Warren, who originally proposed the idea, was to institute a regulatory body with a multi-person committee designating decisions.
Although the court ruling occurred last year, concerns surrounding the new administration prompted Democratic attorney generals from 16 states and the District of Columbia to file documents to the federal appeals court on Monday in order to have the case looked at again. The purpose of the CFPB, they say, is to prevent large financial institutions from taking advantage of the individual consumer.
“It was structured by Congress to be a powerful and independent agency that would protect consumers from the abuses of Wall Street, banks, and other large financial institutions,” George Jepsen, an AG from Connecticut, stated, according to the Hartford Courant. “That mission is still critical to consumers today.”
Jepsen further elaborated on his worries concerning the effect the new Trump administration will have on the agency’s effectiveness. “The Trump Administration has said it intends to weaken the CFPB. That calls into question whether the new administration will adequately defend the CFPB and the American public it protects," he stated.
Existing Republican sentiment seems to be in favor of reducing the extensive power the CFPB wields, but it remains to be seen what steps will be taken by the Trump administration to alter or modify the agencies’ existing purpose and powers.