Probably to the surprise of nobody, the number of enforcement actions undertaken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau increased during the 2021 fiscal year — according to a published report. What may surprise you, though, is that the increase was not as significant as the increase that occurred in the 2020 fiscal year.
The federal government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30 of the following year. So the 2021 fiscal year started on October 30, 2020 and ran through September 30, 2021. This represents the last four months of Kathy Kraninger’s term as Director of the CFPB and the eight months that Dave Uejio served as acting director. The 2020 fiscal year, which ran from October 30, 2019 through September 30, 2020, was all Kraninger.
Now that we’ve laid out the players, take a look at the numbers.
2019 — 20 investigations opened
2020 — 54
2021 — 64
So while everyone expected an increase when Democrats took over the White House, it was not as much as occurred during the preceding 12-month period, where the number of investigations at the CFPB nearly tripled.
One area where there was a noted increase in enforcement following Kraninger’s resignation from the CFPB was in the number of investigations that were referred to enforcement, which usually results in public resolution with civil money penalties. More than 40% of investigations were referred to enforcement, the highest percentage since 2013. So while the number of investigations increased marginally, the number of investigations involving a public resolution increased dramatically from the years when Kraninger, Mick Mulvaney, and even Richard Cordray ran the Bureau.
The report concludes that “recent trends in increasing numbers of new enforcement investigations” will “continue now that Rohit Chopra has been confirmed as the CFPB’s new director.”