Kraninger to Focus on Transparency, Accountability as Head of CFPB if Confirmed

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee today, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director nominee Kathy Kraninger outlined her key priorities for leading the agency if confirmed, pledging to ensure that the CFPB functions in a fair and transparent manner and is accountable to taxpayers.

Kraninger — who is currently an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget — said she will focus on “running the agency as Congress established it, but . . .  I’m very open to changes in that structure that will make the agency more accountable and more transparent.” She also committed to limiting the bureau’s collection of sensitive information “to what is needed and required under law,” and ensuring that data collected by the CFPB is protected.

Additionally, Kraninger said she would use the bureau’s rulemaking process effectively, and work closely with other regulatory agencies and states on supervision and enforcement. “It is critical to have clear rules so that the lenders, and creditors…know what the rules are, [and] are not somehow told after the fact that they broke a rule they weren’t even aware of, or that it somehow changed without any proper notice and comment process,” she said.

When asked about the CFPB’s small dollar lending rule — which Acting Director Mick Mulvaney placed under review earlier this year — Kraninger did not offer comments on how she intends to move forward, but indicated that “what would be helpful is continued competition in the small dollar lending space.” She commended recent efforts by the OCC to “work with traditional banks to bring additional [small-dollar] products and services to the market.”

During the at-times contentious hearing, Kraninger faced intense questioning from Democrats on the panel about her work at OMB related to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the response to last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico.