On Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a major reorganization of its Division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending (SEFL). The SEFL Division plays a critical role in carrying out the CFPB’s statutory mandate to protecting consumers: it is responsible for bringing public enforcement actions against companies that violate consumer financial law, conducting supervisory examinations of financial institutions to ensure they are complying with consumer financial law, and rooting out discrimination in the marketplace. During prior Director Richard Cordray’s tenure, the CFPB’s SEFL Division returned nearly $12 billion to more than 29 million harmed consumers, including more than $600 million to victims of discrimination.
Sen. Brown released the following statement about the announced reorganization:
“The CFPB’s mission is as clear as it is simple: protect consumers from financial predators. I have grave concerns with the CFPB’s announced reorganization. It is critical that the public and this Committee understand why Director Kraninger would undertake such a major reorganization, which amounts to a demotion for the Office of Enforcement—a critical part of the CFPB’s mission to protect consumers—just weeks before the election. Organizational structure shapes policy, and this reorganization appears to be an effort to weaken the Office of Enforcement and hinder the Bureau’s ability to protect consumers against companies’ abusive business practices and enforce federal consumer financial laws now and in the future.”