A Cautious Consumer Bureau Chief

By Charles S. Clark

July 6, 2012

As the newest federal agency -- and one many Republican lawmakers would still like to dismantle -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau treads a fine line between selling its accomplishments and avoiding handing ammunition to its critics.

Such caution was on display in an interview with CFPB Director Richard Cordray published Friday in The New York Times.

Cordray, whose recess appointment by President Obama in January has been challenged in court as unconstitutional, highlighted his agency’s recent work in simplifying the mortgage process to aid aspiring homeowners and boost the economy. “We have an overarching goal here,” Cordray said, “which is to restore trust in the consumer financial marketplace. I don’t think we are just a regulatory body or just an enforcement body.”

Cordray balanced that declaration with a reluctance to provide specifics when asked what enforcement actions the 900-person agency is likely to take this year.

He was photographed in his prime-location office at 17th and G Streets Northwest in Washington. The previous occupant of that space was the savings and loan regulator called the Office of Thrift Supervision, which closed in October 2011.

By Charles S. Clark

July 6, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/federal-news/fedblog/2012/07/cautious-consumer-bureau-chief/56657/