Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Leandra English has issued a statement that she is stepping down from her position at the Bureau, in response to the nomination of a new director for the CFPB. The statement was issued through her lawyer, Deepak Gupta, who also stated that he intends to file papers to end the ongoing litigation over President Trump’s appointment of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to lead the Bureau after the departure of former director Richard Cordray in November 2017.
The White House has nominated Kathy Kraninger to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As the associate director at the Office of Management and Budget, Kraninger has worked for Mulvaney, who also serves as Director of the OMB (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, June 18, 2018).
Public interest groups respond. Consumer advocacy groups responded to English’s actions positively, with the Center for Responsible Lending Senior Legislative Counsel Yana Miles calling English "a revered public servant with a history of prioritizing consumer protection." CRL stated that "with her help, the agency has been a vigilant enforcer of civil rights laws and combatant of discriminatory practices in the financial marketplace; English has helped enforce fair lending laws that protect consumers of color from being charged more for a mortgage, auto loan, or credit card."
According to a statement by Christopher Peterson, the Director of Financial Services for the Consumer Federation of America, English’s departure will resolve lingering uncertainty over the Bureau’s leadership. The statement thanked English "for her public service and for diligently fulfilling her role as a civil servant" and stated that "Now that the President has fulfilled his constitutional role of nominating a permanent director for consideration by the Senate, it is understandable that Ms. English would prefer to move on."
Senior Director for U.S. PIRG’s Consumer Program Ed Mierzwinski released a statement that the organization "commends Leandra English for her critical role in defending the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Now that President Trump has nominated a new CFPB director, U.S. PIRG intends to push the Senate to only confirm the candidate if she will protect consumers."
Public Citizen commended English for her public service "protecting consumers from unfair practices by financial institutions." The statement, issued by Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs, applauded English’s efforts "to uphold key transition elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act."
However, the Consumer Bankers Association released a statement by its president and CEO, Richard Hunt, who warned that "The transition of power at the Bureau was a circus and we could possibly witness it again in five years unless a bipartisan commission is created to give consumers the certainty and stability they deserve."
Companies: Center for Responsible Lending; Consumer Bankers Association; Consumer Federation of America; Public Citizen; U.S. PIRG
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