Several CFPB whistleblowers have come forward to explain how the agency operates. In hearings before Congress, CFPB employees explained the agency’s “culture of intimidation and retaliation.”
Bank examiner in the enforcement and fair lending division Ali Naraghi explained that the CFPB prefers “results-oriented examinations,” in which CFPB executives decided before an examination to find a violation even if none were identified. Nargahi told members of Congress:
I believe that the root cause of the problems I have encountered at the bureau is management’s lack of accountability. The only consistent thing about CFPB management is its inconsistency…I am the naturalized U.S. citizen that bureau manShe agement referred to as an ‘f***ing foreigner.’
I hope, by telling my story, it will further enlighten the committee about the culture of intimidation and retaliation at the bureau and how that culture makes it very difficult for employees to raise concerns about mistreatment, mismanagement, and abuse of authority. In short, favoritism and cronyism runs rampant at the bureau…
Kevin Williams, CFPB Office of Consumer Response’s first Quality Assurance Monitor, bolstered Naraghi’s allegations of discrimination and incompetence. He told members of Congress:
My experience at the CFPB was reminiscent of past eras of injustice, cronyism, discrimination, and retaliation. The events that transpired at the bureau occurred because basic measures were not in place to properly supervise its untested management.
Angela Martin, Senior Enforcement Attorney, testified that “Employees have told me of alarming stories of maltreatment that resulted when they opposed the mismanagement and when they asserted their individual rights…Certain managers have adopted an authoritarian, untouchable, unaccountable and unanswerable management style.”
She further explained how a supervisor threatened to retaliate against her with counterclaims after she filed a complaint to human resources.
Internal data obtained by American Banker shows the CFPB’s managers consistently ranked whites better than minorities on performance reviews. Whites were twice as likely as African-American or Hispanic employees to receive top performence reviews–the basis for raises, bonuses and promotions. Interviews with a dozen former and current employees by an outside firm revealed instances of white male favoritism and the creation of a hostile work environment. Further, employees filed more than 100 official grievances with the National Treasury Employees Union since August 2013.