As the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray is building a new regulatory regime from scratch.
The undertaking is no small feat considering the vast terrain of the financial services industry that the bureau must cover: payday lending, debt collection, mortgages, prepaid cards, student loans, auto loans, credit cards and more.
Although the CFPB has hammered away at these issues since its inception in 2011, the prolonged fight over Cordray’s Senate confirmation at times overshadowed the bureau’s efforts. His confirmation over the summer cleared the way for the agency to take more-aggressive steps to police the industry.
In an interview, Cordray laid out his vision for the bureau, which has issued a series of rules to govern mortgage lending and handed down enforcement actions against big banks for abusive lending practices. An edited transcript of his remarks follows:
You’ve become known for your research-driven approach, which is a bit different than other regulatory agencies. How would you describe the bureau’s style of supervision?