Earlier this year, we took a look at what to expect from newly-minted NCUA Chairman Todd Harper. Now, we turn our attention to Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Chopra will likely be confirmed in April despite a contentious Senate Banking Committee hearing and a split vote that sent his nomination to the Senate Floor.
What will his appointment as Director of this increasingly important consumer agency mean for credit unions?
First, some background. CFPB promulgates consumer regulations, and directly supervises compliance with those rules in financial institutions with over $10 billion in assets. Twelve credit unions are currently in that asset category. The Bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank Act in the aftermath of the 2008-09 mortgage market crisis, and has been caught in a political crossfire between Democrats who want activist and aggressive oversight of the financial services sector, including credit unions, and Republicans who see CFPB as being anti-business and prone to overregulation and overreach.
For his part, Chopra at his Senate confirmation hearing delivered an assertive performance that reinforced opinions of him on both sides of the aisle. From his statements, and from comments he has made in the past, it’s possible to speculate on the agenda that Chopra could bring to CFPB:
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