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CFPB’s strategic plan muzzles critical consumer watchdog

Consumers Union calls for nomination of permanent director committed to CFPB’s consumer protection role

February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  A new strategic plan unveiled today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) signals that it will ease up on enforcement and investigations of shady  financial practices and identifies deregulation as a top priority.  The new plan represents a major overhaul of the CFPB’s mission and operations and will severely undermine its ability to protect consumers, according to Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.

“The CFPB’s new strategic plan effectively muzzles the consumer watchdog,” said Anna Laitin, Director of Financial Policy for Consumers Union.  “The plan developed by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney eliminates any reference to enforcement from the bureau’s mission statement and emphasizes easing the rules governing banks instead of focusing squarely on protecting consumers.  It is past time for the President to nominate, and the Senate to consider, a permanent nominee who will restore the CFPB’s critical consumer protection role.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by Congress following the devastating 2008 financial crisis that cost millions of Americans their homes, jobs, and retirement savings.  It works to make sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat consumers fairly.  And it’s gotten results.  Since it was founded, the CFPB has returned $12 billion to nearly 30 million consumers who’ve been cheated by financial companies and stopped abusive banking, credit card, mortgage, and student loan practices.

Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-902-9537 (cell) or 415-431-6747 (office) or David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262