November 15, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, responded to news reports today that Richard Cordray plans to step down as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by the end of November.
“Richard Cordray has been a fierce advocate for consumers and an effective leader of the CFPB,” said Anna Laitin, Director of Financial Policy for Consumers Union. “During his tenure, the financial watchdog has won billions of dollars in relief for Americans cheated by unfair banking practices, predatory lending, and other financial scams. He leaves behind a legacy of accomplishment that has benefited millions of Americans and helped ensure consumers get a fair deal when they shop around for a loan, open a bank account, or make a purchase with their credit card.”
The CFPB was established as part of the Dodd Frank reform legislation by Congress following the 2008 financial crisis. It works to ensure consumers are treated fairly by establishing basic standards that banks, credit card companies, and other financial companies must follow and by policing abuses in the marketplace. Since the CFPB opened its doors in 2011, it has won more than $12 billion in refunds and relief for an estimated 29 million Americans who’ve been defrauded by financial companies.
Cordray’s departure comes at a time when financial industry lobbyists and opponents of the agency in Congress have pushed to weaken its ability to protect consumers. This has raised concerns that Cordray’s replacement will try to reverse the progress made by the CFPB in recent years.
“Consumers need a tough watchdog in Washington to protect them from abusive practices that jeopardize their financial security,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. “We can’t afford to take the financial cop off the beat and leave families vulnerable to costly scams and rip-offs.”