House Financial Services GOP Leaders Seek Clarity on CFPB Director’s Role with FDIC Power Struggle

A letter from the House Financial Services ranking member Patrick McHenry and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer seeks clarity on CFPB Director Rohit Chopra’s conflicting testimony before their committee and the Senate Banking Committee on an FDIC “power grab.”

06/29/2022 10:45 A.M.

2 minute read

The ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra regarding conflicting testimony before Congress when asked about his role in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) “power grab,” according to a news release.

The power struggle over bank mergers and the role of the FDIC board and chair in related decisions escalated to the point where Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams announced her resignation effective Feb. 4.

Her term was set to end in June 2023.

It started when FDIC board members Martin Gruenberg and Chopra posted a joint statement on the CFPB’s website Dec. 9 seeking public comment on the Bank Merger Act, ACA International previously reported.

During testimony on the CFPB’s semiannual report before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee, Chopra faced questions on the FDIC issue—but gave conflicting statements, McHenry and Luetkemeyer say in the letter:

“In April 2022, you appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services and Senate Committee on Banking to testify and present the [b]ureau’s semi-annual report to Congress. During those hearings, Republicans on both committees asked questions about the process by which you, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, and then-Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Director Martin Gruenberg wrested control of the FDIC’s agenda from former Chair Jelena McWilliams—an effort that began in earnest on or around October 13, 2021, when you joined the FDIC Board of Directors.

Your testimony created the appearance that lawyers at the relevant agencies collectively analyzed the FDIC’s bylaws and endorsed the process by which you and the other directors co-opted the FDIC. They did not. In fact, according to information obtained by Financial Services Committee Republicans, lawyers at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) did not assist whatsoever. We are writing to provide an opportunity to clarify or amend your testimony and resolve the discrepancy between your statements to Congress and the facts.”

McHenry and Luetkemeyer asked for responses from Chopra clarifying his testimony no later than July 11, 2022.

Read the complete letter here.

Related Content from ACA International:

FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams Resigns After Board Leadership Conflict

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