Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra on Thursday said that he intends to focus his agency’s enforcement efforts on the largest financial services companies.
“We need to focus on the largest players,” Chopra told the Senate Banking Committee. “I’m not saying that small businesses are going to get a free pass, but that’s not going to be my focus.”
Chopra’s Senate testimony follows his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
Members of the Banking Committee clashed over the Biden Administration’s management of the CFPB.
Committee ranking Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he fears the agency will return to the aggressive regulatory regime of the Obama Administration. “Unfortunately, the Biden administration has rushed to return the CFPB to its bad old ways,” Toomey said.
“In less than ten months, the Biden CFPB has disregarded its jurisdictional limits, rescinded policies that provided regulatory clarity, returned to regulating by enforcement actions rather than rules, reportedly pushed out career civil servants for political reasons, and certainly refused to comply with congressional oversight,” Toomey added.
Toomey said he fears that the CFPB is reverting to “regulation by enforcement,” a Republican allegation that was often made during the Obama Administration
Toomey and other panel Republicans hammered Chopra for not responding to allegations that Dave Uejio, who was acting director of the agency before Chopra was confirmed, forced out agency employees who had been hired during the Trump Administration.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he hoped that Chopra would be able to weather the attacks from Republicans and lobbyists.
“I don’t expect you to be cowed,” Brown said. “I expect to see vigorous enforcement of consumer protection laws, consistent monitoring of fintech companies, and crackdowns on big corporations who routinely and repeatedly violate orders issued by the bureau during your tenure.”