All We Know Is Its Members Are No Consumer Advocates
Washington D.C. (March 10th, 2020) – Ahead of Trump CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s presentation of her semi-annual report before the Senate Banking Committee today, consumer watchdog group Allied Progress called on Kraninger to dispel the mystery surrounding her new ‘Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law’. Little is known about the quasi-governmental committee announced last October that is apparently set up to pick apart consumer financial laws and recommend rollbacks to consumer protections. That’s because Director Kraninger has not bothered to disclose transcripts of meetings held, salary or ethics information for taskforce members, or even the exact scope of what the taskforce is considering.
According to CFPB Leadership Calendars, the Task Force has already held meetings (See: 1/21 and 1/29), but they were out of public view and no details of what was discussed were released. What is known, however, is that all five announced members have a history of defending the financial industry and other corporate interests from consumer protections, according to analysis by Allied Progress. That includes:
- CFPB Taskforce Chair Todd Zywicki, who has served business interests throughout his career—including working for a consultant to megabanks like Bank Of America and leading an industry-funded Think Tank.
- Dr. Thomas Durkin, who the US Chamber Of Commerce commissioned for a study it relied on in its fight against the creation of the CFPB.
- L. Jean Noonan, who represented two different companies hit with millions of dollars in settlements with the CFPB, DOJ, and State Attorneys General for fleecing military servicemembers.
- Dr. J. Howard Beales III, a “Sharp Skeptic Of Regulation” who has frequently worked to help corporations like R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and American Express.
- William C. MacLeod, who has defended financial Trade Associations and the Debt Collection Industry against “Onerous Regulations” and who’s firm has represented Subprime lenders in both state and federal investigations.
“Consumers literally have no seat at this table,” said Derek Martin, director or Allied Progress which recently launched CFPBWatch.org. “Instead, a bunch of friends of the financial industry are meeting behind closed doors, no doubt recommending a nip to a consumer protection here and tuck to a banking regulation there. What possible good can come to consumers from that? There’s a reason this has been dubbed a ‘Task Farce’. It’s every bit as tilted against everyday people as the infamous Kobach commission, but at least the Kobach commission conducted meetings in public.”