Under Old Watchdog Chief: 2 to 4 Enforcements a Month. Now: Zero

No enforcement action in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 135 days and counting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2018 12:03 AM CDT
Consumer Financial Watchdog Is Silent Under Trump
In this Jan. 20, 2018, photo, Mick Mulvaney stands during a press briefing at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In the 135 days since the Trump administration took control of the nation's consumer watchdog agency, it hasn't recorded a single enforcement action against banks, credit card companies, debt collectors, or any finance companies whatsoever. That's likely no fluke: Mick Mulvaney, appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in late November, promised to shrink the bureau's mandate and take a much softer approach to enforcement, and records reviewed by the AP indicate he has kept his word. The review of the CFPB database shows that the bureau issued an average of two to four enforcement actions a month under former Director Richard Cordray, former President Obama's appointee.

But the database shows zero enforcement actions have been taken since Nov. 21, 2017, three days before Cordray resigned. Before Mulvaney, the bureau used enforcement actions to extract billions of dollars in relief for consumers from financial companies and to stop companies from doing harm. Bank of America was ordered to return $727 million to consumers for deceptive credit card practices in 2015—the largest award in the bureau's history—but the CFPB has issued dozens of smaller actions to get relief for student borrowers, victims of debt collection companies, and bank customers. In a statement, the CFPB said the slowdown is tied to a new administration taking over the bureau, adding that "it is our job to enforce the law, and we take it very seriously." (Read more Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stories.)

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