President Appoints “America’s Consumer Watchdog”

Media Contacts

Agency Gains Full Consumer Protection Powers


Denver – CoPIRG applauds President Obama for standing up for consumers by making a recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The President’s action means that the CFPB indisputably now has all its powers to protect the public from unfair financial practices, whether by banks or other financial firms, such as payday lenders and credit bureaus.

Since July 21, the CFPB – a centerpiece of the 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act —  had been up and running, but arguably only with partial powers. It’s the nation’s first federal financial regulator with only one job—protecting consumers — including seniors, students and servicemembers — from unfair financial practices.

Now, with a director in place, the CFPB has additional abilities that kick in—including the right to supervise payday lenders, mortgage companies, credit bureaus, debt collectors, private student lenders and other non-banks. It also now has additional powers over banks and credit card companies.

In was just three years ago that reckless and predatory Wall Street practices collapsed the economy and cost us 10 million jobs, millions of homes and trillions of dollars in others’ home equity and retirement values.

Many consumer advocates and experts consider establishment of the CFPB in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as the most significant consumer financial protection since deposit insurance after the 1929 Great Crash.

Yet, without a director, the CFPB could not fully do its job. Too many members of the Senate failed to do their job, which is to confirm qualified nominees. They backed Wall Street’s needs, not the needs of families, soldiers, seniors and students in the financial marketplace. The President did his job with the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to direct the CFPB. Now, the CFPB can do its job, protecting consumers from unfair financial practices.