| April 5
April 5 The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau's director defended himself in Congress on Wednesday
against a barrage of Republican criticism over everything from
the agency's handling of the Wells Fargo accounts scandal to the
way he has personally managed his job.
Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee,
Richard Cordray, got coy when asked whether he would finish his
term, which expires in July 2018. Republicans on the committee
and elsewhere have pushed for President Trump to fire him, and
Cordray is widely rumored to be a possible Ohio gubernatorial
candidate in 2018.
Cordray, who has headed the agency since 2012 when he was
appointed by former President Barack Obama, has declined to step
down since President Donald Trump took office. He did not say
whether he will serve out the rest of him term, which expires in
"I have no insights to provide," he said in response to a
Under the Dodd-Frank law creating the agency, the president
could only remove Cordray "for cause." But longtime Republican
critics say Cordray's decisions as a regulator provide ample
evidence to fire him.
“For all of the harm caused to consumers, Richard Cordray
should be dismissed by the president," said House Financial
Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.
Hensarling noted that the CFPB has failed to finalize
regulatory projects mandated by Congress, such as writing rules
directing financial institutions to collect data about credit
applications by minority and women-owned businesses.
Republicans claimed the agency failed to detect wrongdoing
at Wells Fargo & Co, relying on outside investigators
and news reports to point out widespread problems with improper
"The CFPB was asleep at the wheel!" said Ann Wagner, a
Missouri Republican. The earliest the committee could determine
the CFPB began to examine Wells Fargo was in May 2015, after the
bank notified the regulator that the Los Angeles City Attorney
was already pursuing a civil case, she said.
Yet the CFPB was front and center in September 2016 when the
high-profile $185 million multi-agency settlement was announced.
Cordray said Wagner was "conflating" issues and said the
oversight work "became exponential over time."
The CFPB levied a $100 million fine against the bank in an
enforcement action with the Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency and the City and County of Los Angeles. The probe began
after a 2013 Los Angeles Times investigative story.
(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; editing by Linda Stern and David