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Getting to Know the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: 10 Key Facts
- The CFPB does not have any financial oversight from Congress and is not accountable for its regulatory actions to Congress or any government regulatory agency.
- The Bureau has jurisdiction to create regulations that impact almost every aspect of the financial industry—from banking services and mortgages to realtors and retailers. Broad powers previously split between seven different federal agencies now belong exclusively to the CFPB.
- The agency has been accused of racism and discrimination against minority employees–even as the CFPB targets private industries for alleged racial discrimination.
- CFPB staffers are among the most highly paid government officials. The agency’s top officials make more than the Vice President, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Presidential Cabinet Secretaries.
- Regulations created by the CFPB to protect low-income borrowers from predatory lending practices have been criticized for reducing access to credit for those very consumers.
- The CFPB is the most politically biased federal agency—100 percent of all campaign donations made by Bureau employees during the last election cycle went to Democratic candidates or committees.
- Staffers often use employment at the CFPB as a stepping stone to gain insight and experience in the agency’s regulatory agenda before moving on to the private sector where they use that insider knowledge to work within the industries they were previously responsible for regulating.
- As part of its research powers, the CFPB has the authority to gather and purchase personally identifiable consumer data from banks and other financial institutions. The CFPB is reported to have purchased information on at least 10 million customers and spends millions each year gathering additional data.
- A number of top CFPB officials previously worked for left-leaning activist groups and think tanks, such as the Center for American Progress, New America Foundation, Americans for Community Organization Reform Now, and Center for Responsible Lending, and several previously worked on the campaigns of President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats.
- Without Congressional oversight, CFPB spending has soared: The agency spent $120 million above estimates (a total of $215 million) to renovate its headquarters, more than the entire General Services Administration’s budget for renovations to all federal buildings.