GOP senators accuse CFPB of ‘highly politicized’ agenda

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Director Rohit Chopra is pursuing “a radical and highly-politicized agenda unbounded by statutory limits,” the 12 Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee said today in a letter to the agency. The senators singled out CFPB’s “relentless smear campaign” against banks that offer overdraft services. “Charging fees that customers chose to pay should not be disturbing or illegal, and yet, the CFPB appears to have developed a particular disdain for banks charging their customers for services, pejoratively calling overdraft protection ‘junk fees,’” they said.

The senators accused CFPB of changing its rules so it could publish previously confidential information about financial institutions to make it easier to threaten them with reputational harm. “The one-sided nature of the CFPB’s rule change gives the agency the ability to publicly tarnish an institution’s name without affording the firm the power to defend itself,” they said. The senators also alleged the agency changed its rules of adjudication to make it harder for companies to defend themselves against novel enforcement theories, and easier for the agency to engage in regulation by enforcement.