Last week, Richard Cordray announced his resignation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where he served for nearly six years as the agency’s first director. The CFPB is the only federal agency with the sole purpose of protecting consumers, an incredibly important function for all Americans in the wake of the financial crisis.
Under Cordray’s leadership, the consumer agency has helped put Latino families, and all Americans, on a path to greater financial security through its enforcement work. For example, about a dozen CFPB actions have been made against financial companies that demonstrate clear evidence of charging minority borrowers more for products. For example, in 2013, the CFPB ordered:
- Ally Bank to pay $80 million in damages for discriminatory auto loan pricing.
- National City Bank to pay $35 million for discriminatory mortgage pricing that harmed minority consumers.
Altogether, the CFPB has returned about $12 billion in relief to 29 million consumers. We thank Cordray for this service and call for his replacement to defend and extend the bureau’s work to protect American consumers.
In addition to the CFPB’s enforcement actions under Cordray, the CFPB has already begun to curb several unfair and deceptive practices in the financial marketplace. Within a year of taking office, Cordray’s CFPB brought transparency to the remittance industry, making money transfers safer and easier for many immigrant and Latino consumers.
Shortly thereafter, Cordray worked to stop credit card companies from adding on products that consumers never agreed to. The bureau also moved to require mortgage lenders to ask applicants for proof of their income before making home loans to ensure that homeowners can afford them. Most recently, the CFPB issued a critical final rule that would stop the predatory practices of the payday industry.
As we thank Richard Cordray for his hard work on behalf of consumer, we must also have an eye towards the future. Latinos cannot afford the lack of financial regulation and oversight that gave way to the financial crisis.
For years, Cordray stood firm against Wall Street-backed attacks by Congress to limit the effectiveness and independence of the CFPB. Now more than ever, these gains and the consumer protections led by the CFPB must be defended.
UnidosUS will work with our coalition partners to help make sure the next director protects ordinary American’s hard-earned money from Wall Street titans.