Trump Administration Acts to Make CFPB Obedient and Submissive to Wall Street and Leaves Consumers to Fend for Themselves

WASHINGTON, DC—In a recent series of concerning announcements, Trump’s Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Mick Mulvaney, indicated that he was taking the agency in a direction that could leave consumers vulnerable to financial harm and help to line the pockets of Wall Street. Mulvaney, who had received significant campaign contributions from payday lenders while he served in Congress, once referred to the agency that he now oversees as “sick and sad.”

Over the past several weeks, the Acting Director has also announced a plan to reconsider the consumer bureau’s rule on payday and car title loans; dropped a lawsuit against a group of payday lenders accused of using American Indian Tribes as a shield to charge 950 percent interest rates on their loans; requested a top-to-bottom review of each bureau function in an attempt to arrest agency operations and requested no second quarter funding for the bureau so he can drain the bureau’s reserve fund.

Most troubling among the recent actions is today’s announcement that the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity will move into the Office of Director, where it will no longer have responsibility for enforcement and regular oversight of companies. Walling off the Office of Fair Lending from the bureau’s enforcement power will weaken the CFPB’s ability to pursue discrimination cases.

“Individually, each of these actions would give us reason for pause; collectively, they are undoubtedly establishing a pattern. Acting Director Mulvaney insists on pandering to Wall Street while leaving ordinary Americans to fight financial abuses alone,” said Lindsay Daniels, Associate Director of Economic Policy at UnidosUS.

“The CFPB was created in response to the reckless behavior of Wall Street that caused devastating harm to millions of Americans. Communities of color were targeted by unscrupulous lenders leading up to the financial crisis and lost vast sums of wealth in the aftermath. The changes Mulvaney is making to the fair lending office will severely limit the ability of the agency to enforce civil rights laws and discriminatory practices. Consumers ought to beware: The Trump administration is using the consumer agency to protect Wall Street’s interests rather than yours,” Daniels concluded.