CFPB Receives Praise from Pennsylvania Enforcement Officer

Sep 6, 2019 | FinTech, News

Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforcement attorney, Nicholas Smyth, who now works for Pennsylvania’s consumer financial protection unit, praised the federal agency, saying that enforcement under Director Kathy Kraninger was no different than it was under former Director Richard Cordray.

Smyth maintained that the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s (AG) office maintained a close relationship with the CFPB. “We talk to the CFPB every week, sometimes every day, about the big cases that we’re working on together, and we’re working closely with them on investigations,” he said. “It’s a different world than it was under Director Cordray, but it’s not as different as I think the media likes to make it out to be.”

The CFPB, currently headed by Director Kathy Kraninger, has received substantial criticism from consumer advocates and congressional Democrats for what they perceive as a lack of enforcement, at least compared to the agency when it was run by Richard Cordray. This criticism comes despite Director Kraninger having more enforcement actions under her first six months at the agency than did Richard Cordray or Acting Director Mick Mulvaney during his short stint at the CFPB.

In addition to enforcement, Smyth added that the CFPB filed an amicus brief supporting the Pennsylvania AG office in its lawsuit against the company Navient. “The CFPB just filed an amicus brief that was really good and very supportive of us,” said Smyth.

Although the consumer finance unit in Pennsylvania, or in any other state, will not always agree with the CFPB, Smyth believes that this should not stop states and the CFPB from working together when necessary. 

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