Consumer Pick Vows to Streamline Regulations

September 7, 2011
New York Times P. B3
consumer financial protection bureau news

During a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) nominee Richard Cordray said that if he was confirmed, he would use the agency's "bigger and more flexible toolbox" to enforce consumer financial laws, use litigation judiciously, and prioritize the streamlining of regulations. He noted that the number of regulations crafted over the last three decades have burdened some banks and has discouraged them from lending. Cordray's testimony aimed to assure lawmakers that as head of the CFPB, he and the agency would be accountable to Congress, but Republican lawmakers remained unconvinced saying that the bureau had too much unchecked power. Banking Committee Ranking Republican member Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) said, "Unless the bureau is reformed. It is only a matter of time before this concentration of power is abused or misused to the detriment of American consumers and the economy." Shelby is among the 44 Republicans who have pledged not to confirm the CFPB director unless the Obama Administration agrees to change the agency's structure. Among the changes republicans are seeking are changing the director's position to a board of directors and subjecting the agency to the Congressional appropriations process. The Financial Stability Oversight Council can overturn CFPB regulations by a two-thirds majority, which Cordray admitted was a high hurdle, but says that it would be unnecessary as the CFPB is required to "communicate and consult with our fellow banking agencies."
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