Allied Progress Releases New Report, ‘6 Months of Failing Consumers’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today marks six months on the job for CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, who has allowed the agency to drift even further away from its mission of protecting consumers since right-wing ideologue Mick Mulvaney was in charge. After six months of prioritizing financial industry demands over consumer complaints, Kraninger found the perfect backdrop for the occasion: giving the keynoteaddress at a conference hosted by the American Bankers Association. Consumer watchdog group Allied Progress marked the milestone by releasing Kraninger’s failing report card [VIEW IT HERE] and urging Kraninger to stop selling out consumers to President Trump’s donors and patrons of his private resorts.
“Kathy Kraninger toasting the town with the big banks as she considers lifting restrictions on overdraft fees nicely sums up her first six months as Director – always keeping industry lobbyists close, and Trump’s donors even closer,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Allied Progress.“Her hands-off approach to the misdeeds of Wall Street, predatory lenders and financial scammers has made her a lot of friends in industry while leaving consumers more vulnerable to abusive practices. Kraninger isn’t just neglecting basic responsibilities like monitoring military lending and taking action against dishonest student loan servicers. She’s done worse than nothing by trying to ‘fix’ what isn’t broken like consumer protections against abusive payday lenders and debt collectors.”
- Proposed ending a critical protection against the payday loan debt trap
- Neglected to supervise lenders who may be overcharging military members
- Failed to take a single new action against a student lender that fleeced students
- Proposed letting debt collectors harass consumers more over phone, text, and email
- Entertained letting big banks charge more overdraft fees
- Refused to answer whether the CFPB should even exist at all
Added Funk: “Kraninger’s apprehension to conducting oversight explains why she’s been in no rush to fill critical supervision and exam positions which Mulvaney let plummet by one-third. It explains why she doesn’t want to be judged against former Director Cordray’s record delivering for consumers. When Director Kraninger is ready to live up to her promises to ‘take aggressive action against bad actors,’ she can start by enforcing the law and restoring the CFPB’s staff to 2016 levels when it was successfully recovering billions of dollars on behalf of millions of cheated consumers.”
During her confirmation hearing last year, Kraninger assured Senators who expressed concern about her total lack of consumer financial experience that: “Under my stewardship, the bureau will take aggressive action against bad actors who break the rules by engaging in fraud and other illegal activity.” However, Kraninger showed her true colors with her first major action as Director: ripping up payday protections that would keep millions of Americans from falling into the debt trap, a move the CFPB even admits was based on zero new academic research and will make the payday industry $7 billion a year richer on the backs of the most vulnerable consumers. After being dogged with questions from Congress and consumer advocates about why her actions as Director kept the promises she made as a nominee, Kraninger updated her governing philosophy during a speech in April. The nation’s top consumer advocate declared consumers need “to help themselves, protect their own interests.” In other words: you’re on your own.