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House Committe Chair: CFPB Is Not Accountable

Coming before the House Committee on Financial Services Thursday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray faced tough critics from the house panel who openly questioned the bureau’s accountability. 

“Many of us have been frustrated by the lack of accountability in the CFPB’s leadership structure and the lack of transparency in the CFPB’s funding structure,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) said in his opening statement for the hearing on the CFPB.

The CFPB has operated under Cordray’s leadership since January, when the director was appointed through a recess appointment by President Obama. Republican critics of the bureau have long stressed a need for bipartisan committee leadership rather than a single leader for a bureau comprising the scope of enforcement wielded by the CFPB. 

“The absence of adequate checks and balances is especially troubling given that neither Congress nor the executive branch can fully review the Bureau’s spending,” the House Financial Services Committee said in a statement. “The CFPB’s requests to draw millions of dollars from the Federal Reserve often take the form of nothing more than e-mails that lack any details as to how the money will be spent.”

The issue of consumer complaints was another point of discussion, as the bureau has begun accepting complaints through an online portal and via telephone. It has said in the case of credit card complaints, it will make the complaints as well as the companies under complaint public. 

“Rather than help consumers, publicly disclosing unverified information could instead mislead consumers. It is my hope that the CFPB will take the steps necessary to ensure that the data it releases is accurate.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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