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Bidens CFPB director Rohit Chopra should be tougher than Trump on banks

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relates to CFPB's new team has a message for the banks it regulates: we're back

America’s personal money watchdog is starting to flinch again.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis of 2008. Its mandate: to ensure that financial products such as loans are not designed to trick people into expensive debt or high fees. The agency washampered by its own leaders during the Trump years, much to the delight of many in the financial industry, who argued that the agency had been given too much irresponsible power.

President Joe Biden’s candidate for head of the CFPB, Rohit Chopra, is expected to obtain Senate confirmation within a few weeks. But the regulator is already sending the message that it is getting more and more difficult. On-site reviews are underway, bank executives tell consultants. Student loans, subprime auto loans, debt collection, mortgage services, and payday loans are all set for further review, analysts say.

Consumer relief ordered as part of the CFPB public enforcement measures

Data: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

For a time under the Trump administration, the agency’s acting director was Mick Mulvaney, who previously described the CFPB as a “sick, sad” joke. Over the past four years, the bureau has generated approximately $ 2.3 billion in consumer assistance through enforcement actions, up from more than $ 10 billion in the previous four years. Chopra will likely be more in tune with the original militant mission of the CFPB. He was the deputy director of the bureau under Obama-era leader Richard Cordray, and is an ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat of Massachusetts who is credited with designing the CFPB and helping to set it up. .

Chopra took a seat on the Federal Trade Commission in 2018. He has marked the decade since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB with a July statement saying “Gullible and passive regulators also share responsibility. “Of the financial crisis, with abusive financial companies”. Chopra said he saw firsthand in his early years at CFPB that the public must ensure that regulators use all available tools “to contain companies that abuse their power and break the law.” He also used his FTC boom to attack large corporations, using equally harsh language. In February,Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to pay$ 62 million to settle FTC claims it refused to tip drivers. Company executives attempted “to mislead his drivers and cover up his theft,” Chopra said in a statement at the time. (Amazon disputed the FTC’s claims and said its compensation policies were clear.)

“I expect that once Chopra is confirmed, he will want to get out of the door quickly,” says Ed Mills, Washington-based policy analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. “Several bank management teams have told us so informally that they had seen a noticeable change from CFPB over the past two months after not hearing from them in the past few years. It appears that a switch has been reversed. “

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