Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Chief Richard Cordray is resigning from his position as soon as the end of this month.
“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here," he wrote.
The departure of Cordray from the CFPB wasn’t unexpected, given President Donald Trump was reportedly gearing up to fire him but was hesitant he would be seen as a hero among Democrats.
“The administration will announce an acting director and the President’s choice to replace Mr. Cordray at the appropriate time,” Raj Shah, deputy press secretary, said in a statement to CNBC. In his email, Cordray didn’t mention speculation that he would run for governor in Ohio.
While Republicans had been calling for Cordray to leave or for his power at the banking regulation organization to be weakened, lawmakers on the other side of the aisle praised his work as the head of the CFPB, an agency created by former President Obama. Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, applauded Cordray for standing up to financial institutions that were engaging in abusive practices.
“Richard Cordray is a true champion for American consumers. Under his outstanding leadership, the Consumer Bureau has made the financial marketplace stronger and fairer for hardworking Americans across the country,” Waters said in a statement.
Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair argued his largest impact will be reshaping lending standards of mortgages by strong enforcement and having a more regulatory presence on the banking industry.
“None of that consumer focus was really present in our bank regulatory system prior to the CFPB’s creation,” Bair told CNBC. She went on to note that she wasn’t on board with a single head for the CFPB. “I had supported a board or commission structure. Not a single head and for just this reason right now. I think consumer advocates should be looking. They are all in for one person at the top. With a board, you have a little bit more moderation on both sides. It is a bit of a check from the agency going from one extreme to the other,” she said.