Former CFPB Director Cordray Rumored to be Candidate for Federal Reserve’s Top Bank Regulator

Dec 3, 2021Federal Regulation, News

Richard Cordray, who served as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from 2013 to 2017, is rumored to be under consideration to be the Biden Administration’s choice for the Federal Reserve’s top bank regulator. In that role, he would lead the agency’s bank oversight practice as vice chair of supervision. Cordray currently oversees the federal government’s student loan program as a senior official in the Department of Education.

Biden “is looking for people of independent judgment who are going to be excellent at the craft but also that are going to face squarely and head-on the challenges that we face,” said Brian Deese, White House National Economic Council Director.

Cordray has been tough on banks throughout his career; under his leadership, the CFPB tightened mortgage underwriting standards, increased oversight of payday lending, and required more disclosure from credit-card issuers about rates and fees.

In 2009, during his two-year term as Ohio’s attorney general, Cordray prosecuted Bank of America in a lawsuit that alleged its executives tried to hide Merrill Lynch’s foundering financials before shareholders voted on their merger.

American Banker noted that in 2013, Cordray became the first Senate-confirmed official to lead the CFPB by a vote of 66-34, including 12 Republican Senators. Though four of those Senators still serve, Cordray will likely face more opposition from lawmakers.

Cordray “believes that only government can make America great. He and I disagree,” said Senator John Kennedy (R-La.). As with other key posts, the Senate’s 50-50 split means that if no Republican Senators offer their support, the Biden Administration must get all Democratic Senators to vote for the nomination.

Other candidates who have been floated for the position include Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic and Duke University law professor Sarah Bloom Raskin.

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