Chopra: Increasing Competition, Focusing on ‘Repeat Offenders’ Priorities for CFPB

Stimulating “competitive intensity” in consumer financial markets will be a key priority for the CFPB under the leadership of Rohit Chopra, who was sworn in as director earlier this month.

In prepared testimony ahead of his first appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, Chopra said that under his leadership, the bureau “will be keeping a close eye on practices that might impede competition” and that “we plan to listen carefully to local financial institutions and nascent competitors on the obstacles they face when seeking to challenge dominant incumbents, including in ‘big tech.’” He also expressed concern about a “dearth of competition” in the mortgage refinance market, specifically for families with lower mortgage balances.

In addition, the CFPB will “sharpen its focus on repeat offenders,” and would work closely with other federal regulators to fashion “appropriate remedies” for these entities, particularly those that violate agency or federal court orders. Finally, Chopra said his agency will work to “restore relationship banking in an era of big data” by, among other things, ensuring that automation and algorithms are transparent and do not bias credit decisions.