Cordray sets exit from CFPB

Richard Cordray is stepping down as head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Richard Cordray is stepping down as head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Richard Cordray is quitting his presidentially appointed job as director of the Consumer Financial protection Bureau, according to an email he sent staff.

Mr. Cordray - the CFPB's first director - is leaving before his term expires in July. And I trust that new leadership will see that value also and work to preserve it - perhaps in different ways than before, but desiring, as I have done, to serve in ways that benefit and strengthen our economy and our country. Cordray used that mandate aggressively as its first director.

President Obama visits the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with new chief Richard Cordray.

The CFPB was created as part of the laws passed following the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. But Warren, who was an outspoken critic of Wall Street - as she is now - never made it through Senate confirmation.

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He will leave by the end of the month. The banking industry says it wants the CFPB reformed so that a bipartisan commission votes on regulations and rules, instead of a single director controlling policy.

My gratitude and appreciation for what you mean to me and to our nation is deep and lasting, and I will be taking the opportunity to make that clear to you in person over the days ahead.

The transformation coming for the bureau could be significant. Created under 2010's financial reform bill, known as Dodd Frank, it regulates the way banks and other financial companies interact with consumers, policing everything from payday loans to mortgages. When Wells Fargo was found to have opened millions of phoney accounts for its customers, the CFPB fined the bank $100 million, the agency's largest penalty to date.

The agency has been controversial among Republicans since its inception.

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GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said Cordray's resignation was a long time coming.

The White House and many Republicans have been highly critical of the consumer agency for years, claiming its regulatory efforts stifle economic growth. The bureau has been working on rules concerning debt collectors and bank overdraft fees, which are likely to stall, said industry officials. The former OH attorney general and state treasurer is seen as a top Democratic candidate, and the filing deadline looms in February ahead of the May 2018 primary. His term does not end until next summer, but to run he would have to declare his candidacy by February. If he does, he'll join a field that already has four official candidates and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, who said he would jump in if Cordray didn't. But then the site attacks him and calls the bureau "one of America's most corrupt government agencies". "He held big banks accountable. He's a dedicated public servant & a tireless watchdog for USA consumers - & he will be missed".

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who helped create the agency, said on Twitter of Cordray: "He's a dedicated public servant and a tireless watchdog for USA consumers-& he will be missed". "We will continue to work with the CFPB under its new leadership to ensure consumers have access to the increasing variety of credit and financial tools they demand, with the full protections they deserve".

When Trump was elected, Cordray became one of the highest political appointees to be left over from the previous administration.

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