A group of House Republicans have sent a letter to Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accusing him and the Bureau of “colluding” with state Attorneys General to pursue duplicative enforcement actions against companies in the financial services industry.
The letter — sent by Rep. Patrick McHenry [R-N.C.], the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Tom Emmer [R-Minn.], the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-Mo.], the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions — can be accessed by clicking here.
When it created the CFPB through the Consumer Financial Protection Act, Congress “did not intend for the CFPB to intimidate companies by conspiring with state agencies to pursue duplicative enforcement actions,” the Republicans wrote in their letter. “It is clear that state attorneys general may enforce the CFPA in cases where the CFPB has not. But the statute does not allow for a state attorney general to become a party to an existing CFPB enforcement action. It is therefore inappropriate for the CFPB to recruit a state attorney general that is not otherwise investigating a company, to pursue enforcement as a means of intimidation.”
In substantiating their allegations, the authors of the letter note that during a seven-month span, Chopra spoke with state Attorneys General on 23 occasions. When it issued an interpretative rule in May that certified states could pursue enforcement actions under the CFPB, the CFPB was “deputizing” state Attorneys General to enforce the CFPB on behalf of the CFPB, they wrote.
The letter asks Chopra for answers to a series of questions regarding the powers that have been placed with state AGs.