Ahead of Kraninger Hearing, Advocates Demand to Know Why CFPB is Attacking Consumer Protections

Director Kathy Kraninger Faces First Oversight Hearing Since Confirmation

Today, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is set to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee, marking her first oversight hearing since being narrowly confirmed last December. Kraninger will now have to answer to a new chair, Rep. Maxine Waters, and a majority that is demanding answers to why the agency has sided with the industry over consumers. Three questions loom large for Kraninger:

  1. Do you believe that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a responsibility to protect consumers from payday loan debt traps?
  2. Why does CFPB refuse to supervise to guard against predatory loans to servicemembers? Under the previous director, this was never an issue.
  3. Can you explain why you think companies who claim they are “innovators” should automatically get broad exemptions from consumer protection laws under your proposed sandbox policy?|

Linda Jun, senior policy counsel for Americans for Financial Reform: “This CFPB is betraying the mission Congress created it to undertake, which is standing up for consumers in the financial marketplace. Instead it is  focusing on gutting regulations in favor of Wall Street and predatory lenders. It is taking guidance from the industries that should instead face tough enforcement of the rules. They are saying the quiet things very loudly through their actions.”

Debbie Goldstein, executive vice president for Center for Responsible Lending: “Director Kraninger has some explaining to do—attempting to scrap the payday lending rule, failure to bring enforcement action against unscrupulous financial actors, and leaving our servicemembers and military families vulnerable to predatory lenders all undermine the founding mission of the CFPB. As head of an independent agency that is supposed to be free from political and outside industry influence, Kathy Kraninger has more political staff than her predecessors did and conflicting reports have indicated that the consumer bureau has met with payday lenders to weaken important consumer protections. These actions aren’t missteps or errors, they are deliberate. The public deserves transparency and accountability in their consumer watchdog, someone who’s going to look out for them. So far, Kathy Kraninger has failed to do this in her short tenure as head of the CFPB.”

Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Allied Progress: “Prediction: Director Kraninger will have no good answer to any question she gets about why she hasn’t fired top aide Eric Blankenstein despite his racist views that could undermine enforcement against lending discrimination; why the CFPB lied about consulting with the payday industry before releasing their payday protection rollback scheme; or why she falsely claims she has no authority to conduct military lender examinations despite it never being a problem during the Cordray-era. That’s because there are no good answers, just lame excuses for protecting the profits of Trump’s predatory lending donors.”