Post-Election

FTC’s Head Of The Consumer Protection Bureau Jessica Rich Steps Down

Jessica Rich, head of the FTC’s consumer protection bureau, is leaving the agency.

According to a report by American Banker, Rich joined the FTC in 1991 and has held multiple roles, including deputy director of the consumer protection bureau and associate director of the FTC’s financial practices division. In an interview earlier this week, Rich said leaving is part of the normal results of a presidential election. When a new president comes into power, the new head of the FTC gets to appoint his or her own bureau directors, noted the report. Rich noted in the report she is not sure where her career will lead her next.

Under Rich, during the last few years, the FTC’s consumer protection bureau has held debt collection firms to task and has gone after payday lenders, as well as robo-calling operations, among other industries and companies. According to the report, Rich was particularly proud of her work to ensure consumer protection rules apply to the likes of Google, Amazon, Apple, Uber and other technology companies. What’s more, Rich said the work at the FTC won’t be impacted by the new government under President Trump. “A lot of what this agency does is bread-and-butter anti-fraud and consumer protection,” Rich said in the report. “And we expect the vast majority of it to continue.”

In a press release, Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said: “We are grateful to Jessica for her many years of service to the FTC and the public. She is a pioneer in consumer protection who spearheaded major initiatives regarding consumers’ privacy, data security and financial transactions. Many of the FTC’s programs bear her indelible mark.

“As Bureau Director, Rich managed eight consumer protection divisions and eight regional offices charged with stopping consumer fraud and deception and protecting consumers’ privacy. Under her tenure, the Bureau brought a series of major law enforcement actions that returned billions of dollars to consumers, including cases against Western Union, Volkswagen, Herbalife, Apple, Google and Amazon,” noted the press release.

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