Mulvaney Might Move CFPB To Cut Costs

In a bid to save money, Mick Mulvaney is considering moving dozens of employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the basement of its Washington headquarters, while relocating the others to Dallas.

According to American Banker, Mulvaney is looking to cut spending at the agency by tens of millions of dollars.

“All options are on the table as we work to make the Bureau more efficient and effective,” said John Czwartacki, the CFPB’s chief communications officer.

Cutting down on the agency’s spending has been high on Mulvaney’s agenda. The CFPB gets its funding from the Federal Reserve, which provided the agency with $602 million for the fiscal year that ended in September.

But Mulvaney did not request any money from the Fed in January for the second quarter of this year, saying that costs could be covered by $177.1 million in reserve funds left by his predecessor, Democrat Richard Cordray.

Other possible ways to trim the budget over the next two years include having CFPB staff “without a business need to work in an office” to stay home, which could save as much as $18.3 million, or having employees share desks, which might reduce the budget by another $18.3 million.

Adding 70 work spaces in the basement of the agency’s main Washington building could save $16.6 million, and relocating staff to Dallas would cut spending by $2.4 million.

Slashing costs isn’t the only change Mulvaney has in mind for the CFPB. In late April, it was reported that the agency will likely shut down its public complaint database.

The database has been in effect since 2011, with the Bureau keeping a searchable record of more than one million consumer reports about inaccurate debt collections, illegal fees, improper overdraft charges, mistakes on loans and other issues. But while the agency must collect those complaints, it is not legally required to share them online.

“I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government,” said Mulvaney at a banking industry conference in Washington. “I don’t see anything in here that says that I have to make all of those public.”


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