Chopra takes the reins of CFPB | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, srl
On September 30, 2021, the US Senate, on a party line vote, confirmed the appointment of Rohit chopra at the head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau). The move strengthens the Biden administration’s control over the agency and will accelerate its shift to a more aggressive enforcement posture that began with the appointment of David Uejio as interim director in January.
Chopra is no stranger to the Bureau, having served under Senator Elizabeth Warren as she ran the agency, and then under then-director Richard Cordray, focusing much of her attention on issues of student loan. Chopra’s government service continued in the Department of Education and, since 2018, as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he has consistently opposed actions by the FTC which he says imposed sanctions and other remedies that were insufficient and failed to retain individual board members. and the agents responsible for the actions of their companies.
Under Chopra’s leadership, the Bureau is certain to pursue the main lines of its authority through all its tools to (1) improve the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on American consumers and (2) increase the efforts of the Bureau to ensure fair loans and increase racial equity and inclusion in all sectors of the consumer financial market.
While the Bureau has certainly moved swiftly and aggressively towards these priorities under Uejio’s leadership, with the arrival of Chopra, many activities can be expected to escalate even more. Many application questions involving new or unpublished theories were developed during the first nine months of the Biden administration, but were put on hold pending the arrival of a permanent director. Now that Chopra has been confirmed, these cases will likely move at high speed to their next step – issuing a civil inquiry request or initiating a public enforcement action.
Many law enforcement investigations are likely to target large institutions, either in absolute terms or within a specific consumer market or submarket, and will include a review to determine whether board members directors or officers should be held personally responsible for conduct detrimental to consumers. The Bureau will not hesitate to exercise its power over UDAAPs (unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices) to challenge activities that are not expressly prohibited by other consumer protection laws and regulations, and we can ‘expect him to seek unconventional remedies such as restrictions on sales and growth and the removal of board members and other executives. The Office is also likely to pursue new legal theories through administrative arbitrations, which allows it to proceed quickly and come to a final decision made by the agency director himself.
Chopra will have an immediate opportunity to install committed staff into its program, as the post of Deputy Director, a political appointment and all career leadership positions in the Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending division are vacant. This will allow Chopra to assess the future structure of the Office, including the relationship between monitoring and enforcement activities and the role of the Fair Lending Office. Chopra can also be expected to work closely with the new leadership of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the National Credit Union Administration to strengthen consumer compliance enforcement against large deposit-taking institutions and prosecute. this work with state financial services regulators and attorneys general.
The Bureau will continue to focus on quickly finalizing its recent regulatory proposal under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding data collection on the small business loan market and may seek to increase its oversight of small business loans. markets served mainly by non-licensees approved by the State. deposit institutions.