CFPB Director Richard Cordray Announces His Resignation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray, announced today in an email to CFPB employees that he will be stepping down as the Director at the end of November.  It is widely expected that Richard Cordray will run for Governor of Ohio but he did not address his future in the email he sent to his employees.

Who will replace Richard Cordray is a huge question because of President Donald Trump will likely face a hostile audience by Democrats and some Republicans in getting a new Director appointed and confirmed.  If the Trump Administration pushes someone who wants to gut the CFPB it could haunt the Republicans politically because the agency is highly popular with consumers.  The process with likely take several months to appoint and confirm a new CFPB Director although the Trump Administration could pick an Interim Director in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA).  The Interim Director would be in charge of the CFPB until a potential nominee was confirmed by the Senate.  The FVRA process is not new to the CFPB because prior to Richard Cordray’s confirmation the CFPB was overseen by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner until Cordray’s confirmation.

The CFPB under Director Richard Cordray’s leadership over $12 billion in relief was recovered for nearly 30 million consumers.  His departure could likely spell the end of his “Regulation by Enforcement” and usher in a period of more written guidance to the industry.  However, the “Regulation by Enforcement” agenda has recently been minimized due to a smaller number of enforcement personnel and fewer resources given to that division while he led the CFPB.

Here is the full email Director Richard Cordray sent to CFPB employees:

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share with each of you directly what I have told the senior leadership in the past few days, which is that I expect to step down from my position here before the end of the month.

As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here. Together we have made a real and lasting difference that has improved people’s lives, notably: $12 billion in relief recovered for nearly 30 million consumers; stronger safeguards against irresponsible mortgage practices that caused the financial crisis and hurt millions of Americans; giving people a voice by handling over 1.3 million complaints that led to problems getting fixed for vast numbers of individuals, and creating new ways to bring financial education to the public so that people can take more control over their economic lives. None of this could have happened without all of us being dedicated to pull together in supporting and protecting people and making every consumer count. I will always be immensely proud of you and what you have done.

At the same time, there is always more work that lies ahead. That would be true at any point, of course, and one thing I have tried to reinforce this year is that the Consumer Bureau is far more than its director. I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public. And I trust that new leadership will see that value also and work to preserve it – perhaps in different ways than before, but desiring, as I have done, to serve in ways that benefit and strengthen our economy and our country.

My gratitude and appreciation for what you mean to me and to our nation is deep and lasting, and I will be taking the opportunity to make that clear to you in person over the days ahead.

Thank you!

RC