Consumer finance regulator mulls record fine for Wells Fargo
Apr 12 2018 by Johnny Bowman
Citing the uncertainty that financial institutions experienced during the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration and the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as bureau's acting director, the trades argued that "d$3 ramatic shifts in the CFPB's philosophy and approach with each change in presidential administration make it hard for lenders and small businesses to plan for the future". This is the longest stretch without enforcement actions in the CFPB's history.
Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman, has said that the agency overstepped its reach in the past and that he aims to help fulfill Trump's promise to cut regulations for industry.
Democrats including Maxine Waters criticized that record Wednesday.
This hearing was perhaps a precursor to the issues that are likely to come up during his testimony to the Senate, such as CFPB's long-term structure and Mulvaney's approach to enforcement actions in what is being deemed to be a face-off between him and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
"We have essentially taken the cop off the beat, " said Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat.
"Are you telling me that every single financial institution in America has suddenly snapped into full compliance?" CFPB acting Director Mick Mulvaney is pushing for fines as large as $1 billion, Reuters said.
The CFPB has about 100 ongoing investigations and is actively litigating 25 cases started under Cordray, Mulvaney stated. "That doesn't mean we're not supervising and enforcing". "Let me be very clear to everyone: We are still going after bad actors", he added.
"I believe it would be my statutory right to simply sit here and twiddle my thumbs for the next four hours while y'all ask questions", Mulvaney said.
Under Mulvaney, the CFPB has reversed course. "I find that to be ironic". "How transparent is the door to your office, Mr. Ellison?" he asked. "I can't see into it".
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Republicans praised Mulvaney's performance at the CFPB so far.
While expanding the bill could force Senate Democrats to walk away from a deal, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said he still supported CFPB reforms. "What a welcome change".
Democrats, including ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of NY, repeatedly insisted that their presence at the hearing didn't imply that they think his appointment is legitimate; a legal battle involving deputy CFPB director Leandra English, who claims to be the rightful successor to former director Richard Cordray, remains ongoing.
It may sound like a minor change, but Mulvaney critics say the change deemphasized the "consumer protection" part of the agency's mission. The agency is a "joke.in a sick, sad way, " he told the Credit Union Times in 2014.