Mulvaney Op-Ed Highlights Mission Change at CFPB

On Tuesday, Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the CFPB, sent a memo to his staff that was converted into a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece which appeared in the paper yesterday under the headline The CFPB Has Pushed Its Last Envelope.

The op-ed reiterates the bureau’s commitment to enforcing consumer protection laws under Mulvaney’s watch. It also, however, noted that the bureau’s stated goal of “pushing the envelope” under the leadership of Former Director Richard Cordray is over.

Mulvaney notes that, “[it is] fair to say that the bureau’s previous governing philosophy was to “push the envelope” aggressively, under the assumption that we were the good guys and the financial-service industry was the bad guys….That is going to be different.”

Mulvaney goes on to argue that as government employees, pushing the envelope in conflict with the citizenry – both those who use and provide credit – is not appropriate.

Consumer protection will be the hallmark of the bureau, but that will mean working with industry to better serve customers.

“On regulation, it seems the people we regulate should know what the rules are before being charged with breaking them. This means more formal rule making and less regulation by enforcement,” Mulvaney noted in the piece.

“The CFPB has a new mission,” he closes his piece by saying.” “We will exercise, with humility and prudence, the almost unparalleled power Congress has bestowed on us to enforce the law faithfully in furtherance of our mandate. But we go no further. The days of aggressively ‘pushing the envelope’ are over.”