Long live the CFPB: Kraninger kills bureau name change to BCFP

Tells bureau staff: I care much more about what we do than what we are called

Just one day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for an internal investigation into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission to change its name to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, new CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is putting an end to the whole affair.

In what amounts to Kraninger’s first official act as the CFPB director, she told bureau employees that she is suspending any efforts to change the bureau’s name from the CFPB to the BCFP.

“As of December 17, 2018, I have officially halted all ongoing efforts to make changes to existing products and materials related to the name correction initiative,” Kraninger said in an email to bureau employees, which was obtained by HousingWire.

According to Kraninger, the bureau will use the BCFP name and seal on “statutorily required reports, legal filings, and other items specific to the Office of the Director,” but for all other materials, the bureau will still be the CFPB.

Think of it this way, for the nuts and bolts of the government, the bureau will be the BCFP, but for the rest of us, the bureau will still be called the CFPB.

“In other words, we have a legal name but will be using our colloquial name and the branded acronym ‘CFPB,’” Kraninger said in her email. “ Many of us have legal names but use nicknames without much confusion. My birth certificate says Kathleen, but I also answer to Kathy. I think we can do the same here. I believe this decision is most efficient and effective for our continued work together.”

The move puts a stop to a rebranding campaign first started by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

Mulvaney said the name change was an effort to realign the bureau with its statutorily defined name within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law refers to the bureau as the “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,” although that name had not been used at any point in the bureau’s history.

Mulvaney wanted to hew closer to the statute and sought to change the bureau’s name, going so far as issue a new seal with the adjusted name and erecting new signage at the bureau’s headquarters that read “BCFP.”

The bureau even asked the Associated Press, the organization that provides news articles to thousands of news outlets all over the world, to change its official style guide to call the bureau the BCFP, not the CFPB.

But a government investigation revealed that name change could cost companies subject to CFPB oversight as much as $300 million in order to update their databases, change regulatory filings and revise disclosure forms to accommodate the bureau’s new name.

Now, all that is moot, as Kraninger has killed the name change.

Kraninger said that she while she understands while Mulvaney “emphasized following the letter of the law” with regard to the bureau’s name, after receiving input from bureau staff, members of Congress, and other stakeholders, she decided to put an end to the bureau’s rebranding.

“To be clear, I care much more about what we do than what we are called,” Kraninger said in her email. “I look forward to our continued work together at the CFPB in the years to come.”

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