Richard Cordray to step down as head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Ivan Schwartz
November 16, 2017

The CFPB and Cordray have come under fire from the GOP for the Bureau's regulatory work and supposed lack of oversight.

According to a CNBC report, Cordray made the announcement in an email to staff on Wednesday.

Even as Cordray has declined to answer questions about his political ambitions, his opponents began to galvanize against him.

When Trump was elected, Cordray became one of the highest political appointees to be left over from the previous administration. He did not provide a reason for his departure, but shortly after the letter was made public, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Cordray, a Democrat, would run for governor of OH in 2018 when the seat is open because Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is term limited. The Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Deputy Director shall "serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director".

Cordray was not Obama's first choice for the newly created agency. In July, he approved a rule that makes it easier for consumers to sue their banks by restricting lenders from settling disputes tied to credit cards and other products through forced arbitration. The bureau also passed a rule earlier this year limiting the use of short-term title and payday auto lending. Cordray appealed to Trump directly not to sign the legislation, but was rebuffed.

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"While we haven't always agreed with Director Corday on issues, we have always shared his goal of wanting to help consumers and appreciated his willingness to engage with us", said American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat who is credited with conceiving and setting up the CFPB, has said its actions were necessary to protect ordinary Americans in the wake of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Prior to becoming head of the CFPB, he was Ohio's attorney general, state treasurer, and solicitor general.

AP is reporting that Cordray plans to resign by the end of November, and says that he is expected to return to OH and join the Democratic gubernatorial race.

Ohio's current governor, Republican John Kasich, can't seek reelection when his second term ends in January 2019. Mike Crapo, the Republican chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced a bipartisan deal to free dozens of large financial institutions from some of the most rigorous regulations put in place after the global financial crisis. Leading candidates include Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)-the same Republican who called for Cordray's firing. With the changing of the guard, Republicans see a chance to rein in what many of them view as a "rogue" and "unchecked" agency, as well as an affront to free-market principles.

At the request of the CFPB, the court is reconsidering its decision. He could not hold his position as director of the CFPB and run at the same time.

Other reports by GizPress

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