Chopra sworn in as CFPB director; promises to promote market power to consumers, law-abiding businesses

Rohit Chopra became the fifth director of the federal consumer financial protection agency Tuesday, saying he would work to ensure the financial marketplace meets the needs of all families, workers, and communities.

In a letter addressed to all employees, Chopra (who was confirmed Sept. 30 by the Senate for a five-year term to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB) said the agency and its workers must use their tools to promote competition and shift market power toward consumers and law-abiding businesses.

The letter was distributed after Chopra was officially sworn into the post. It was also addressed to the boards of both the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), on which Chopra will serve as member in his role as CFPB director.

“We must strive for a marketplace where families are treated fairly and can seek help when they’re in trouble,” Chopra wrote. “And most importantly, we must anticipate emerging risks so we can act before a crisis, rather than acting after it is too late.”

The new CFPB leader – who, as he noted in the letter, was one of the agency’s first employees in 2011 after it was created – described current conditions for the economy and the country as fragile. “We have experienced an uneven recovery, as many families and businesses continue to feel left behind. COVID-19 has also put into clearer focus the longstanding systemic and structural barriers we must overcome to build a more inclusive economy,” he stated.

Chopra thanked former Acting Director David Uejio for leading the agency since January. “We will continue to build on the work he has already started on racial equity and pandemic response,” he said.

Since its creation in 2011, the bureau has had five permanent and acting directors: Richard Cordray (permanent), John (“Mick”) Mulvaney (acting), Kathleen Kraninger (acting and permanent), Uejio, and now Chopra.

The CFPB is looking out for families, workers, and communities