LA City Attorney: Why we can’t lose the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

by Jeff Sovern

Some congressional Republicans have said that the CFPB was asleep at the switch when it came to the Wells Fargo unauthorized account scandal, and that it just piggy-backed on the LA City Attorney, which was the first governmental office to bring a case against Wells for the accounts.  But now the LA City Attorney himself, Mike Feuer, says that it is "especially outrageous for Republicans to latch onto the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal to back up their claim that the CFPB needs a drastic overhaul." In his op-ed, Feuer also says:

Nor should the CFPB be emasculated in the multiple ways the House bill threatens, from eliminating the bureau’s ability to target deceptive and abusive practices — predatory lenders, have at it! — to erasing its authority over payday lenders.

The Financial CHOICE Act would effectively prevent the CFPB from enforcing any consumer protections within another regulator’s jurisdiction. The legislation would rob the public of the chance to review consumer complaints lodged with the Bureau—data my office relied on in our investigation of Wells Fargo. The House bill would eliminate the CFPB’s authority with respect to those pernicious arbitration clauses that Wells Fargo and other corporations impose to block customers from airing grievances in court. Buried in the bill is a provision giving targets of CFPB investigations the ability to seek court orders setting aside demands for information about potential abuses.

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