CFPB Director Cordray announces resignation


Last month, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel cleared Cordray of accusations that he improperly positioned himself for a gubernatorial run while still serving as the CFPB director.

Cordray's resignation will give President Trump an opportunity to reshape an agency that oversees a significant portion of the financial industry.

In September, Cordray said the massive data breach at Equifax, the credit reporting firm, is an example of why it's important to have the consumer bureau in place "to hold these companies accountable for making these kind of errors and mistakes".

OBJECTRichard Cordray's resignation on Wednesday as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aroused strong reactions back in OH, where he is expected to jump into the Democratic contest for governor in 2018.

Even as Cordray has declined to answer questions about his political ambitions, his opponents began to galvanize against him.

Still, industry experts say, the most efficient way to remake the rules is through appointing new regulators who can change an agency's focus, tone and priorities.

The announcement was not unexpected.

Cordray, who campaigned for Obama in the past, has held a number of public offices in the state of OH, including attorney general, state treasurer, solicitor general, and state representative.

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A White House press secretary told Politico that President Trump plans to nominate an acting director "at the appropriate time". Almost every American who deals with banks or a credit card company or has a mortgage has been impacted by new rules the agency put in place.

Mr. Cordray, 58, revealed his plans to leave the agency in an email to CFPB staff on Wednesday. It regulates the way banks and other financial companies interact with consumers, policing everything from payday loans to mortgages. When Wells Fargo was found to have opened millions of phony accounts for its customers, the CFPB fined the bank $100 million, the agency's largest penalty to date.

When Trump was elected, Cordray became one of the highest political appointees to be left over from the previous administration.

While Cordray was able to implement many new regulations on banks, credit card companies and debt collectors, he also lost some notable battles.

Jennifer Lee, Partner at the worldwide law firm Dorsey & Whitney said that as the only federal consumer regulator created in this century, it can't be disputed that Director Cordray maximized the opportunity to effectuate change, leaving a lasting and arguably irreversible legacy in the Bureau's culture. Another rule, aimed at regulating the payday lending industry, also faces a potential veto from Congress.

Cordray was not Obama's first choice for the newly created agency.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who helped create the agency, said on Twitter of Cordray: "He's a dedicated public servant and a tireless watchdog for USA consumers-& he will be missed".

"At the CFPB, Rich Cordray forced the biggest financial institutions to return $12 billion directly to the people they cheated", Warren said in a statement Wednesday. "This is a big test for Donald Trump. That is literally the job of the CFPB: to stand up to Wall Street".