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.