CFPB Director Kraninger Resigns As Biden Takes Office

Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Kathleen Kraninger has resigned from her position as head of the agency, reportedly at the request of the Joe Biden administration. This is according to the former director herself, issuing a tweet including her resignation letter on Wednesday afternoon.

In her letter addressed to President Biden, Kraninger describes her support of the ability for a new executive to choose appointees more closely aligned to the policy priorities of an incoming administration.

“I support the Constitutional prerogative of the President to appoint senior officials within the government who support the President’s policy priorities, which ensures our government is responsive to the will of the people as expressed in presidential elections,” Kraninger wrote.

Kraninger expressed admiration for career and political civil servants she has worked alongside at the agency, while also expressing that she hopes her legacy will be one remembered for moving the framework of the CFPB forward.

“In addition to our important mission work, I hope that my legacy will be the maturation of the CFPB itself and its role within the financial services regulatory framework,” Kraninger wrote. “Building on a mission-driven culture, I sought to embed a commitment to continual improvement, diversity in all aspects, and inclusion (workforce and stakeholder).”

Kraninger’s resignation comes on the heels of President Biden announcing his choice to serve as the director of the CFPB a day before he was inaugurated, naming Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra as his nominee.

Kraninger was initially sworn in for a five-year term as CFPB director, but the way for her resignation was paved by a United States Supreme Court decision last summer which allowed the president to dismiss the agency’s director at-will. The Donald Trump administration supported the president’s authority to dismiss the director, as did Kraninger herself.

Kraninger ends her tenure as CFPB Director having overseen a demonstrable change in the agency’s regulatory posture when compared to her Obama-era predecessors, though she also took a more active hand in enforcement actions than did her immediate predecessor Mick Mulvaney.

The CFPB maintains regulatory enforcement authority over the reverse mortgage industry at the national level. Since the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, reverse mortgage-related complaints to the Bureau have slowed.

Enforcement actions have also recently risen to their highest levels in five years, though Democrats in Congress have repeatedly lamented what they perceive to be a softer approach to the agency’s regulatory posture since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

As Biden nominee Rohit Chopra is already Senate-confirmed as an FTC Commissioner, he would be able to step in as acting director while awaiting Senate confirmation for the full-time position, according to reporting at Bloomberg.

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