Dec. 6, 2018
For Immediate Release:
New Head of Consumer Financial Agency Has Much to Prove
The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm Kathleen Kraninger as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Washington, DC – Kathleen Kraninger, confirmed today to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, must respect and execute the bureau’s mission to protect and defend consumers’ interests against bad actors in the financial marketplace, the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) said today.
In its first six years after the near-downfall of the U.S. economy a decade ago, the bureau proved its worth as it began the necessary work to remove market deceptions and abuses and make financial services and products fair for ordinary people. The years following are crucial for the federal agency to cement its role as arbiter of financial protection and fairness.
The bureau’s function to protect consumers is at risk with Kraninger at the helm.
“Ms. Kraninger’s career has zero ties to consumer protection or financial services. Instead, her government background is plagued with links to controversial decisions that are an affront to human rights and justice,” said Ira Rheingold, NACA's executive director. Specifically, her part in the Trump Administration’s much-criticized policy to separate families at the U.S.-Mexico border is an ominous sign for consumer advocates.
Ms. Kraninger has revealed little of her intentions for the bureau, except she has indicated her support for the decisions of her former boss and the bureau’s current acting director Mick Mulvaney—decisions that largely have been counter to the bureau’s mission.
Under Mulvaney’s direction over the last year, enforcement actions against bad actors in the financial industry have been significantly diminished. The reorganization and elimination of critical offices, such as fair lending and student lending, show a callousness toward consumers victimized by discriminatory and predatory lending practices. And increased dependence on political personnel instead of on experienced, professional staff signifies neglect of the bureau’s critical mandate to play an independent role in government.
“Consumers deserve a CFPB director who is committed to advocating for consumers' rights and protections in their transactions with powerful, and too-often unscrupulous, financial entities,” said Christine Hines, NACA’s legislative director. “Kraninger does not fit the profile for the role, so it is even more important for her to prove that she belongs there, by doing the job well.”