A Legal Battle Brews Over Leadership At Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau effectively has two leaders right now, which should lead to a confusing Monday morning back from the Thanksgiving holiday — and eventually a battle in court.

Both the departing head of the CFPB, Obama appointee Richard Cordray, and the White House have named interim leaders of an agency that has been engulfed in partisan politics since its inception as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill in 2010.

The agency was created to be a watchdog for consumers when they interact with almost all kinds of financial institutions.

“Nearly every American who deals with banks or a credit card company or has a mortgage has been affected by rules the agency put in place,” says The Associated Press.

Because of the agency’s broad mandate, whoever is empowered as director has a huge role in deciding what or how much the organization decides to regulate.

The legislation that created the agency is fairly clear in noting how a vacancy at the top of the CFPB should be filled. The deputy director “shall serve as acting director in the absence or unavailability of the director,” the law says.

That would put newly named Deputy Director Leandra English, who had previously served as the agency’s chief of staff, into the role once Cordray’s resignation became official at close of business on Friday.



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