New BCFP Director: Privacy, Data Security Are Priorities

CFPB Director Focuses on Privacy, Data Security

Kathy Kraninger, the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has said that she’ll prioritize the protection of consumers over regulatory issues, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Kraninger was nominated by President Trump and confirmed last week in a narrow vote along party lines. She’s the replacement for Mick Mulvaney, the former agency head.

“We absolutely will put consumers first in the decisions that I will make,” Kraninger said Tuesday (Dec. 11).

Kraninger did not say if she would target some of the rollbacks enacted by Mulvaney, who proposed scaling back many CFPB rules written during the Obama years. He also cut back its enforcement actions.

Mulvaney often said that under Obama, the CFPB overreached enforcement against companies.

Kraninger said her main priority will be security and privacy of data, and analyzing what the agency gets from consumers and what it keeps. She said she won’t take any action lightly, and will review information and seek consultation before any big decisions are made.

“I want to understand why and how something was done before,” she said.

The new director will serve a five-year term. Before her appointment, Kraninger was a mid-level worker in the White House budget office, under Mulvaney. She has no experience in financial services and has never run a federal agency before.

The agency was created after the pivotal Dodd-Frank law that overhauled regulations for Wall Street and banks, after the financial crisis of 2008. The agency’s head was given leeway to act independently without the approval of a board. The CFPB could also investigate any business selling financial products or services, including auto lenders, for-profit colleges, money-transfer companies, payday lenders and others.

When Richard Cordray ran the agency under Obama, the CFPB went after companies big and small, and said it returned tens of billions of dollars to consumers affected by illegal financial practices.