For the industry, the shift in policy and priority at the CFPB has been a welcome relief.
“We appreciate the willingness of the bureau’s leadership to seek input from all stakeholders as it reviews the CFPB’s priorities to ensure that regulations benefit and protect consumers,” said Ian McKendry, spokesman for the American Bankers Association, in a prepared statement.
Consumer advocates, however, view the changes differently.
“There are many people who are working there and believe in the bureau’s mission,” said Litt, of U.S. PIRG. “But we’re certainly concerned about the slowdown in consumer protection that we’re seeing under Mulvaney.”
Marc Leaf, an attorney who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission when Dodd-Frank mandates were being implemented, said that any regulatory approach should be balanced.
“Consumers aren’t protected if the regulations are so onerous that companies can’t lend or provide the financial services that consumers need,” said Leaf, who is now regional partner for the New York office of national law firm Drinker Biddle.
“But you don’t want consumers, who are the source of so much economic activity, bearing all the risk,” he said. “So having someone look out for them is a good idea.”