The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was one of the most important ways the Obama administration responded to the financial meltdown of 2008. Under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, the CFPB did important work holding banks and businesses accountable for practices that harmed American consumers. The large banks and financial services companies proved in 2008 that they were incapable of policing themselves and that they were acting in the interest of their shareholders and executives rather than the interests of average Americans.
Here are three recent changes to the CFPB that indicate that it will no longer be nearly as strong a force for average Americans:
- Material – Under Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, the CFPB will no longer issue penalties for mortgage lenders who submit false information as long as the inaccuracies are not considered “material.” The agency will also no longer require key demographic data (such as race, gender, ethnicity) be collected by lenders making it more difficult to prove if lenders are discriminating.
- Staff – After being appointed as acting director, Mulvaney promptly installed six Donald Trump loyalists as key staff members. Mulvaney has also ordered that all current actions by the CFPB be temporarily suspended.
- Mission – Under Mick Mulvaney, the CPFB quietly changed its mission statement to diminish its focus on consumer protection.
The CFPB was designed to defend the financial interests of Americans who do not have a voice. Despite Donald Trump campaigning as a champion of Americans who are not represented, he is again proving that his administration values the voices of big business, Wall Street, and lobbyists.
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