CFPB Director Kraninger Faces the Senate Banking Committee
Following a contentious hearing with the House Financial Services Committee last week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger testified before the Senate Banking Committee this morning in a hearing about the CFPB’s semi-annual report to Congress.
Committee Chairman Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) started the hearing by praising the recent changes at the CFPB and then raised the issue of data collection. He said that the CFPB must ensure that the “collection of consumer information is limited, information is retained only as long as is absolutely necessary to fulfill the CFPB’s obligations and that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect it.” He also spent his time raising the issue of data privacy which he said “the Committee will spend significant time on this Congress.”
Crapo added that Americans are rightly concerned about how their data is collected, used, secured, and protected. Kraninger testified that she shares this concern and is looking to limit the amount of data that is collected to what the Bureau determines is necessary because “if it [the data] is not collected, it does not have to be protected.”
Ranking Member Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) focused his questioning on the Bureau’s overturn of restrictions to payday lenders.
“Director Kraninger wants us to believe that an endless cycle of debt is a benefit to hardworking families,” Brown said. He brought out a chart used by payday lender Ace Cash Express visually highlighting the cycle of debt. Kraninger replied by saying she wants “a broad panoply of products available to consumers, and they can make the best decision possible for themselves.”
Payday lending was a common theme throughout the rest of the hearing as well as the CFPB’s structure, student loan debt, and the Military Lending Act. Most notably, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the chief architect of the CFPB, called Kraninger out for lack of enforcement action.
“You are supposed to be the cop on the beat,” Warren said. “But you are only watching out for the crooks who are cheating American consumers. If you had any decency, you’d either do your job or resign.”
For information on Kraninger’s hearing at the House Financial Services Committee, please click here.