- Larry Downing/Reuters
- Richard Cordray announced he would step down as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the end of the month.
- The CFPB and Cordray have come under fire from the GOP for the Bureau’s regulatory work and supposed lack of oversight.
- Rumors have been swirling tha Cordray will run for Ohio governor in 2018.
Richard Cordray, who has helmed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2012, announced he would step down as the director of the consumer watchdog at the end of the month.
In a memo to employees, Cordray said it has been “a joy of my life” to lead the office and “there is always more work that lies ahead.”
The CFPB was created in the wake of the financial crisis by President Barack Obama’s administration to help protect consumers from financial fraud and harmful practices. The CFPB has been involved in enforcement on high-profile cases like Wells Fargo’s recent fake accounts scandal.
Cordray’s term as director was set to expire in July 2018.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a long-time advocate of Cordray and the CFPB, applauded the directors work in a tweet on Wednesday.
“At the @CFPB, Rich Cordray forced the biggest financial institutions to return $12B directly to the people they cheated,” Warren tweeted. “He held big banks accountable. He’s a dedicated public servant & a tireless watchdog for US consumers – & he will be missed.”
Warren also laid out her requirements for a replacement.
“The new Director of the @CFPB must be someone with a track record of protecting consumers & holding financial firms responsible when they cheat people,” the senator tweeted. “This is no place for another Trump-appointed industry hack.”
The bureau, as well as Cordray, has come under fire from Republicans for what they say are onerous regulations and a lack of oversight into the CFPB’s practices. GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said Cordray’s resignation was a long time coming.
“We are long overdue for new leadership at the CFPB, a rogue agency that has done more to hurt consumers than help them,” Hensarling said in a statement. “The CFPB tramples on the fundamental economic rights of American citizens, taking away their choices and opportunities.”
House Republicans attempted to hold Cordray in contempt of Congress in August for not responding to various inquiries and subpoenas.
Speculation has run rampant in recent months that Cordray was lining up a run for governor of Ohio as a Democrat. Prior to becoming head of the CFPB, he was Ohio’s attorney general, state treasurer, and solicitor general. Many GOP lawmakers criticized Cordray for remaining as the head of the bureau if he was inclined to run.