New list: Approaching 11th anniversary, top 11 actions CFPB recently took that anger financial industry

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New director Rohit Chopra, reversing CFPB course from Trump years, protects consumers, draws industry smear campaign

WASHINGTON — As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns 11 years old, a new list from U.S. PIRG highlights 11 ways this crucial agency has rededicated itself to its mission since Rohit Chopra was confirmed as its new director by the Senate last fall. 

After three years of the Trump Administration limiting the CFPB’s effectiveness, Acting Director Dave Uejio started getting the bureau back on track. Then, since Director Chopra took over in October, the CFPB is protecting consumers better than ever before. In response, the financial industry has launched a six-figure digital ad campaign and other attacks on the CFPB’s actions.

“The big financial players never like it when the CFPB is headed by a pro-consumer director. And they certainly don’t like it now after getting comfortable with leaders doing their bidding under the Trump Administration,” said Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG consumer campaign director. “We’re already seeing financial companies changing decades-long practices on everything from overdraft fees to medical debt reporting. These more consumer-friendly policies have come because Director Chopra didn’t waste any time puting the industry on notice. It hasn’t even been ten months since he stepped into the role.”

U.S. PIRG’s list details the following top 11 actions taken by the Chopra CFPB to protect consumers:

  1. Drawing attention to predatory overdraft fees

  2. Paving the way for changes to medical debt reporting

  3. Launching an initiative to save Americans billions of dollars in junk fees

  4. Launching an initiative to improve customer service at big banks

  5. Slamming the Big 3 credit bureaus for excuses, “deficiencies” and failures

  6. Highlighting the particular medical billing, credit reporting and debt collection harms to military families

  7. Examining for-profit colleges

  8. Looking at the impact of Big Tech’s entry into the payments space

  9. Taking action to protect the deposit insurance guarantee

  10. Making it easier for consumers to directly request regulatory changes

  11. Conceding it created and operated a Trump-era taskforce in violation of federal transparency law

“Unscrupulous businesses drove millions of Americans down the road to financial ruin in the late 2000s. The creation of the CFPB soon afterward was a necessary — and hard-won — victory for consumers,” said Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG’s senior director, federal consumer program. “Under the right leadership — both at the outset under Director Richard Cordray, and recently under Director Chopra — the CFPB has delivered on its one mission: to protect consumers. After the Trump Administration’s CFPB leaders took the agency backward, Director Chopra is rebuilding upon Director Cordray’s foundation and taking it to the next level. No wonder the industry is lashing out.”