CFPB Acting Director Outlines Priorities

Feb 5, 2021Federal Regulation, News

Last week, Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Dave Uejio sent a message to his staff—subsequently posted to the Bureau’s website—outlining his priorities for the agency. They include penalizing mortgage servicers, banks, and other financial institutions that have not provided relief for Americans throughout the coronavirus pandemic and pursuing racial equity. Uejio was appointed to lead the agency after former Director Kathleen Kraninger stepped down at the beginning of the Biden Presidency and while Biden’s pick to permanently lead the agency, Rohit Chopra, goes through the confirmation process.

“On COVID-19, we need to take swift action now, in order to make sure our actions help people in the middle of a crisis, rather than just cleaning up after the fact,” Uejio said in the statement. “Protecting economically vulnerable consumers is core to the mission of the CFPB and a key reason why the agency was created.”

To help consumers who are financially suffering from the pandemic, Uejio hopes to enforce fair lending laws and identify conduct that unlawfully hurts vulnerable populations.

“The CFPB will take aggressive action to ensure that regulated companies follow the law and meet their obligations to assist consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “In some cases, penalties may be necessary.”

Additionally, the CFPB will focus on enforcing investigations tied to the Military Lending Act and the CARES Act. Uejio stated in the blog post that the investigations will make sure the industry “gets the message that violations of law during this time of need will not be tolerated.”

Uejio also highlighted the importance of racial equity, and that the CFPB will focus on banks that only accepted Paycheck Protection Program applications from pre-existing customers, which has had a negative impact on minority-owned businesses.

“The country is in the middle of a long overdue conversation about race, and as we all know, practices and policies of the financial services industry have both caused and exacerbated racial inequality,” said Uejio.

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