An advocacy group is claiming that the plan from Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, to no longer publicize the complaints the agency receives from consumers is because most of the companies that have received the most complaints donated Mulvaney when he was a member of Congress.
Public Citizen released a report yesterday that said eight of the 10 companies that are the most complained-about to the CFPB by consumers contributed to Mulvaney’s campaigns while he was a Congressman. Mulvaney served in Congress from 2010-2016 and was a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
The report is a follow-up to surprising comments given by Mulvaney last month during a speech to bankers where he said he would only meet with lobbyists who donated to his campaign. Lobbyists who did not donate did not get the chance to meet with him, he said.
“If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you,” Mulvaney said during his speech. “If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
Overall, 19 of the 30 companies that received the most complaints donated a total of $140,500 to Mulvaney, according to the report. Those 19 companies accounted for 51% of all complaints submitted by consumers, according to the analysis. Citibank and Bank of America each donated $19,000 to top the list of financial services companies that contributed to Mulvaney’s campaigns. Among ARM industry companies, Encore Capital Group donated $1,000 to Mulvaney’s campaigns.
“Is it possible that Mulvaney’s horrible idea of hiding the CFPB’s complaint database is connected to the fact that the most complained about companies contributed to him?” said Michael Tanglis, senior researcher for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and author of the report. “Perhaps if aggrieved consumers had bankrolled his campaign, he wouldn’t be talking about shutting down the complaint database.”