Chopra confirmed as next CFPB director; FTC departure leaves are split equally – Finance and Banking
United States: Chopra confirmed as next CFPB director; Departure leaves FTC evenly divided
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The Senate yesterday confirmed the current FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra as the new director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The 50-48 vote to confirm was within party lines and followed Vice President Harris breaking a 50-50 tie to invoke closure and end debate over Chopra’s nomination.
With Chopra leaving the FTC to lead the CFPB, the Commission will for now have two Democratic Commissioners and two Republican Commissioners, deadlocked on key contested enforcement and regulatory initiatives. As we have discussed at length in a series of posts, President Khan outlined a number of regulatory and enforcement initiatives – Republican Commissioners Christine Wilson and Noah Phillips raising questions and often voicing dissent. Commission decisions on President Khan’s initiatives could be blocked until President Biden’s candidate for the fifth commissioner post, privacy expert Alvaro Bedoya, is confirmed.
During his tenure as FTC commissioner, Chopra lobbied for aggressive enforcement and tougher penalties against businesses and individuals. He also argued for a creative use of FTC authority to fill a perceived gap caused by the Supreme Court’s ruling in AMG Capital Management that the FTC did not have authority under Section 13 ( b) to obtain equitable monetary relief. Chopra is expected to bring this same application-oriented approach to CFPB.
When Chopra testified before the Senate Banking Committee in March 2021, he outlined his priorities and concerns across a range of different industries. From big tech to fintech, student loans to auto loans, and interest rate regulations to the housing market, Chopra has signaled that more aggressive enforcement is likely to come from the CFPB.
Chopra is expected to embark on exploring all the tools available to the CFPB to closely monitor financial institutions, credit bureaus, debt collectors and tech companies. Particularly with her history as the CFPB Student Loans Ombudsman and her interest in for-profit colleges, Chopra will also be taking a close look at loan departments and other players in the education sector subject to the application. of the CFPB.
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