Dodd-Frank Turns 10: Trump Administration’s Fair Lending Failures Underscore Need to Strengthen Law
Allied Progress Report Finds Trump CFPB Had 78 Vacancies Within Its Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending Division As Recently As May 2020
Washington D.C. – On the ten-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, consumer watchdog group Allied Progress released a report spotlighting how the Trump administration has worked to undermine fair lending protections and — as the recent PPP program showed — how much work there is left to do to make our financial system accessible to all. On top of undermining the law, the administration is actually making it more difficult to enforce it – leaving at least 78 positions unfilled at the Trump CFPB just within its Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending division, the report found.
Dodd-Frank’s reforms that came in response to the Great Recession are needed now more than ever in the Trump recession. Congress must step in and ensure the CFPB, OCC and the other financial regulators return to their mission of protecting borrowers and financial services customers, not the bottom line of industries that discriminate against them.
“Over the last decade, the financial industry and their water-carriers in Congress have never stopped scheming to reverse Dodd-Frank’s reforms that fostered fair lending and cracked down on financial fraud and abuse. But the most serious threats these consumer protections face today come from within the Trump administration,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Allied Progress. “The administration has systematically let banks that deceive and discriminate off the hook, either by watering down rules or simply ensuring there’s as little regulatory supervision as possible. Dodd-Frank was a momentous step in the right direction, but glaring failures to guarantee fair lending as seen most recently in the PPP program show why financial reform efforts should be considered a work in progress.”
- In Early 2018, Then-Acting Trump CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney Announced His Intent To Fold The Office Of Fair Lending & Equal Opportunity (OFLEO) Into The Office Of Equal Opportunity & Fairness – A Move Widely Seen As Eroding CFPB’s Fair Lending Enforcement Efforts.
- Due To Mulvaney’s 2017 Hiring Freeze, The Trump CFPB Had 180 Vacancies As Recently As May 2020 – Including 78 Within Its Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending Division – Which Has Likely Contributed To An 80-Percent Decline In Enforcement Activity Under Trump Appointees Since 2015.
- The Midwest Supervision Region – The Supervision Region With The Most Vacancies – Has Had Over 8,000 Consumer Complaints Filed Since COVID-19 Was Declared A National Emergency.
- Under Trump, The OCC Has “Quietly Shelved At Least Six Investigations Of Discrimination And Redlining,” Including Abandoning An Investigation Into Redlining By Bank Of America After Receiving Complaints From The Bank.
- The Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program Benefited States With Higher White Populations And Has Been Criticized For Failing To Assist Business Owners Of Color