Ten Years of the CFPB: Former Director Kathy Kraninger Reflects on Position of Power; Working with Industries and Consumers

Panel discussion event hosted by The Federalist Society brings together former bureau staff with research and regulatory experts.

7/20/2021 8:00 AM

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Ten Years of the CFPB: Former Director Kathy Kraninger Reflects on Position of Power; Working with Industries and Consumers

Staff communication and regulatory support of industry innovation while protecting consumers should be two of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s top priorities under new leadership, former director Kathy Kraninger said in a discussion with Brian Johnson, a former deputy director at the bureau, Monday.

Kraninger also said, even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the president has the authority to remove the bureau’s director at will, it is still a position with a great deal of power.  

“This position and being CFPB director and the amount of autonomy you had … it is a tremendous power,” Kraninger said during the event, hosted by The Federalist Society in conjunction with the CFPB’s 10th anniversary this month. “I approached it with a recognition that if anything is going to last beyond my term, I could not take it lightly.”

Kraninger resigned from the bureau in January under order by President Joe Biden, ACA International previously reported. She told Johnson, who is now a partner at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C., her biggest successes were managing the agency and supporting industry marketplaces to bring financial inclusion to consumers.

“Regulation in some ways inherently just holds that back,” she said. “How do you think about ensuring compliance and ensuring [consumer] protection as those things change? There needs to be some flexibility. I think our innovation policies need to be at the top of the list. I really hope this gets a serious look from the new leadership.”

Kraninger noted that changes in staffing and political appointees at regulatory agencies like the CFPB—as well as holds on staffing and policy decisions—are natural when new leadership takes office at the White House and in Congress.

However, while a decision is pending on Rohit Chopra’s nomination as CFPB director and David Uejio serves as acting director, there are staff changes and several key vacancies in the bureau’s top departments and questions on the matter from members of Congress remain unanswered, ACA recently reported.

Johnson asked Kraninger about these staff changes and the delay in Chopra’s approval as CFPB director by the U.S. Senate, also recently reported on by Government Executive Senior Correspondent Eric Katz.

“It’s completely natural while we don’t have a confirmed director to put a hold on some of these things,” Kraninger said. However, she said, based on her experience at the bureau, there needs to be communication with existing staff about those changes and the status of regulatory and policymaking projects.

In turn, that communication needs to happen between regulators and the public and the entities they regulate.

“I think it’s incredibly important for government to continue to evolve and regulators to continue to evolve,” Kraninger said. “Humility, transparency and engagement were some things I was very proud of.”

Johnson also moderated a panel Monday on the CFPB’s legacy with former Deputy Director Tom Pahl, and former Acting Deputy Director and Associate Director for Research, Markets, and Rulemaking David Silberman.

Todd Zywicki, foundation professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School and George Mason University, and with the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute; Chris Peterson, John J. Flynn endowed professor of law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law; and Nanci Weissgold, partner, Alston & Bird LLP, discussed the future of the CFPB in the third panel of the day.

ACA will provide additional updates on these discussions in ACA Daily.

For more on the history of the CFPB and its 10-year anniversary, read Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey’s report in the June issue of Collector magazine.

Related Content from ACA International:

Decision Pending on CFPB’s Permanent Director Amid Senate Questions About Staff Openings and Changes


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Ten Years of the CFPB: Former Director Kathy Kraninger Reflects on Position of Power; Working with Industries and Consumers

Staff communication and regulatory support of industry innovation while protecting consumers should be two of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s top priorities under new leadership, former director Kathy Kraninger said in a discussion with Brian Johnson, a former deputy director at the bureau, Monday.

Kraninger also said, even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the president has the authority to remove the bureau’s director at will, it is still a position with a great deal of power.  

“This position and being CFPB director and the amount of autonomy you had … it is a tremendous power,” Kraninger said during the event, hosted by The Federalist Society in conjunction with the CFPB’s 10th anniversary this month. “I approached it with a recognition that if anything is going to last beyond my term, I could not take it lightly.”

Kraninger resigned from the bureau in January under order by President Joe Biden, ACA International previously reported. She told Johnson, who is now a partner at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C., her biggest successes were managing the agency and supporting industry marketplaces to bring financial inclusion to consumers.

“Regulation in some ways inherently just holds that back,” she said. “How do you think about ensuring compliance and ensuring [consumer] protection as those things change? There needs to be some flexibility. I think our innovation policies need to be at the top of the list. I really hope this gets a serious look from the new leadership.”

Kraninger noted that changes in staffing and political appointees at regulatory agencies like the CFPB—as well as holds on staffing and policy decisions—are natural when new leadership takes office at the White House and in Congress.

However, while a decision is pending on Rohit Chopra’s nomination as CFPB director and David Uejio serves as acting director, there are staff changes and several key vacancies in the bureau’s top departments and questions on the matter from members of Congress remain unanswered, ACA recently reported.

Johnson asked Kraninger about these staff changes and the delay in Chopra’s approval as CFPB director by the U.S. Senate, also recently reported on by Government Executive Senior Correspondent Eric Katz.

“It’s completely natural while we don’t have a confirmed director to put a hold on some of these things,” Kraninger said. However, she said, based on her experience at the bureau, there needs to be communication with existing staff about those changes and the status of regulatory and policymaking projects.

In turn, that communication needs to happen between regulators and the public and the entities they regulate.

“I think it’s incredibly important for government to continue to evolve and regulators to continue to evolve,” Kraninger said. “Humility, transparency and engagement were some things I was very proud of.”

Johnson also moderated a panel Monday on the CFPB’s legacy with former Deputy Director Tom Pahl, and former Acting Deputy Director and Associate Director for Research, Markets, and Rulemaking David Silberman.

Todd Zywicki, foundation professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School and George Mason University, and with the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute; Chris Peterson, John J. Flynn endowed professor of law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law; and Nanci Weissgold, partner, Alston & Bird LLP, discussed the future of the CFPB in the third panel of the day.

ACA will provide additional updates on these discussions in ACA Daily.

For more on the history of the CFPB and its 10-year anniversary, read Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey’s report in the June issue of Collector magazine.

Related Content from ACA International:

Decision Pending on CFPB’s Permanent Director Amid Senate Questions About Staff Openings and Changes


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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