Corporate Accountability

Letter: CFPB: we need to protect consumers

Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a single leader to respond promptly and decisively in protecting consumers from the types of abuses that caused the 2008 financial meltdown. Multi-member leadership lacks the speed and flexibility needed to keep up with emerging threats and can paralyze an agency completely when vacancies occur. That is why the CFPB is far from unusual — single directors lead many financial and health/safety regulatory agencies. The delay and gridlock of a commission would reduce the bureau’s ability to win important consumer victories like the recent Wells Fargo consent order. And the bureau’s director hardly wields unchecked power: Every regulation and fine may be challenged in court, and presidents may remove directors who abuse their offices. So far, this structure has served taxpayers well.

Elizabeth Wydra, Constitutional Accountability Center; Washington, D.C.