Report: CFPB director will enforce law, but consider ‘costs and benefits’ to consumers of actions

Vigorous enforcement of the law will be pursued, but the “costs and benefits to consumers” of enforcement activities and rulemakings will also weighed, according to a memo sent to staff Wednesday by the new director of the federal consumer financial protection agency.

The American Banker newspaper (a trade publication) reported Thursday that a memo it obtained sent to staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB, formerly known as BCFP) by Director Kathleen (“Kathy”) Kraninger briefly outlines the regulatory approach of the agency leader, who was sworn into office less than a month ago.

“We must do our work with an open mind and without presumptions of guilt, and to always carefully weigh the costs and benefits to consumers of our enforcement activities and regulatory rulemakings,” Kraninger stated.

Kraninger’s approach somewhat echoes that of her immediate predecessor, Acting Director John (“Mick”) Mulvaney. (Mulvaney is now both the acting chief of staff for President Donald Trump and director of the White House Office of Management and Budget [OMB]). In testimony last spring, Mulvaney outlined “new strategic priorities” for the bureau, which he said were aimed at recognizing “free markets and consumer choice and to take a prudent, consistent, and humble approach to enforcing the law.” He said that approach reflected his understanding that “consumers and creditors alike gain from mutual exchange, provided that promises are kept, terms are clearly disclosed, and property rights are protected.”

American Banker: New CFPB chief’s memo to staff: Enforce law, but don’t presume guilt (subscription required)