President Obama is expected today to nominate former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The move comes after Republicans and business interests strongly opposed the nomination of Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken critic of big banks, and the bureau's creator.
Warren said in a statement that she supports Cordray's nomination. Cordray is currently the chief enforcement officer for the bureau. His nomination, however, may not help to move anything forward, however, since Republicans have vowed to block any nominee to the post. Without a director the CFPB has little to no authority to hold financial institutions accountable.
Created by last year’s Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, goals of the financial watchdog include holding financial companies accountable to consumers and providing them with the information they need to understand the true costs and risks of financial products such as loans. The agency is also tasked with identifying and stopping deceptive and abusive financial practices and maintain up-to-date rules governing financial service products.
Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, has supported the creation of the CFPB from its inception. Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, made the following statement.
We’re very pleased the President is moving forward with an excellent nominee to head this critically important bureau. We need a watchdog to protect consumers from being ripped off by shady lenders and other financial firms when they break the law, and Mr. Cordray is a great pick to get this watchdog up and running. He has the knowledge and experience to get the job done. We also want to commend Elizabeth Warren for her outstanding leadership in envisioning and shaping this bureau.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
President Obama Announces Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [WhiteHouse.gov]