Hands Off the Consumer Finance Bureau

Hands Off the Consumer Finance Bureau

 The consumer bureau is the only federal agency with the sole mission of looking out for the interests of ordinary Americans in their dealings with banks and other lenders. 

Some congressional Republicans are calling on President Trump to summarily fire Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their push to remove Mr. Cordray, whose term runs until July 2018, is the latest of many attempts to weaken the bureau, which date back to its creation in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

This time around, however, Republican foes of the bureau are assuming they have a willing ally in the White House. While Mr. Trump has not fully disabused them of that notion, he has sent them a “not so fast” signal: Last week, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters that “no decision has been made at this time” about Mr. Cordray’s position.

Mr. Trump would be smart to go against lawmakers and let Mr. Cordray serve out his term. That would be the right thing to do and consistent with his campaign promises to defend Americans against a system he says has “robbed our working class.”

The consumer bureau is the only federal agency with the sole mission of looking out for the interests of ordinary Americans in their dealings with banks and other lenders.

The consumer bureau is the only federal agency with the sole mission of looking out for the interests of ordinary Americans in their dealings with banks and other lenders.

Its investigations and enforcement actions have yielded fines and settlements that have returned nearly $12 billion to millions of Americans in the past five years — money that otherwise would have enriched lenders through high and hidden fees on bank accounts and credit cards, predatory mortgages, deceptive terms in student loans, illegal debt collection from military service members and unfair auto loans.

The bureau’s success and growing public support have only inflamed the wrath of Republicans. They never wanted a bureau, in part because abusive lending is lucrative for the owners and executives of financial firms they rely on for campaign donations. The more effective the bureau has proved to be, the more overheated its critics are….

 

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