“Under the Trump administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has become the Payday Predator Protection Bureau,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon). “Trump and his allies are blatantly trying to dismantle the bureau from the inside. If this isn’t a crystal clear example of the Trump administration governing of, by, and for the powerful rather than of, by, and for the people, then I don’t know what is.”
Consumer Response has essentially been an independent office housed in the Operations Division. As such, its research on consumer complaint trends has been equally available to all divisions and offices, including, for example, Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending; Research, Markets and Regulations; and Consumer Education and Engagement. Is this transfer designed to diminish the Consumer Response unit’s important role in helping all units of the agency collect and understand the ongoing complaints that consumers raise? What benefit does this transfer provide consumers and will this relocation affect the Complaint unit’s budget?
Fair Lending is a fundamentally important part of the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and of a financial system that works for families and communities. The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity needs the authority, the resources, and the connections to key levers of change to do its job.
Charging that the single director structure — which helps make the bureau an effective consumer regulator, if that director is committed to the public interest — was unconstitutional evolved into a mainstay of attacks from Wall Street, predatory lenders, and their friends in Congress and the administration.
The report includes facts about lobbying spending that hit $2 billion in the last election cycle, and continues unabated, Wall Street executives in the Trump administration and regulatory agencies, tax cut windfalls for the finance industry, and a deregulatory free-for-all. It also includes a case study of how Wells Fargo’s outrageous conduct somehow earned it the distinction of being the biggest winner from the Trump-Republican tax bill.