Employee Pushback Leads CFPB to Halt Planned Reorganization

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has shelved plans to reorganize its supervision and enforcement units, according to a published report, after receiving feedback from within the agency that the moves were not a good idea.

The Bureau had announced the changes last month in an attempt to eliminate the “arguing” that goes on in the Bureau’s Office of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending over which institutions to examine and investigate, according to a memo that was circulated within the CFPB. The announcement was met with harsh words from Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and consumer groups, who asked CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger to abandon the plan.

Sen. Brown said in a statement that “new CFPB leadership” under President-elect Joe Biden, who is widely expected to replace Kraninger with a new director, “should determine the future direction of the agency.”

In an email sent to employees at the CFPB, Bryan Schneider, associate director of the Bureau’s Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending unit, said that more review was needed before moving forward.

“I continue to believe that SEFL should make changes to its organization, processes, and procedures to remain effective and efficient in protecting consumers in light of experience and new circumstances. However, the feedback I received raised important concerns that warrant more considered thought and analysis,” Schneider said in the email, according to Bloomberg Law. “It has also demonstrated the need for further engagement around the best solutions for the issues you raised in the SEFL org review.”

The Bureau spent seven months working on the reorganization, which was meant to improve communication between the supervision and enforcement units. The reorganization would have led to fewer enforcement actions against smaller companies in the financial services industry, including debt collectors, because the enforcement unit would need to get approval before opening investigations.

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