National Consumers League

National Consumers League: Consumer agency independence vindicated by court ruling

February 1, 2018

Contact: NCL Communications, Carol McKay carolm@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2831

Washington, DC--The National Consumers League is calling the January 31, 2018 Court of Appeals decision “a vindication of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s structure and mission.”

On Wednesday, in a 7-3 vote, the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia found that “Congress established the independent CFPB to curb fraud and promote transparency in consumer loans, home mortgages, personal credit cards, and retail banking.”

Comparing the independent structure of the Bureau to other federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, the court noted, “The Supreme Court eighty years ago sustained the constitutionality of the FTC, a consumer protection financial regulator with powers analogous to those of the CFPB in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935).  In doing so, the Court approved the very means of independence Congress used here: protection of agency leadership from at-will removal by the President.”

The National Consumers League strongly supported the creation of the CFPB, part of the 2008 Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Bureau was established to oversee the activities of the financial services industry to ensure they abide by basic consumer protections.  The Bureau has returned $12 billion to consumers and has successfully curbed predatory payday loan, debt collection, student loan and mortgage fraud practices.

“We greatly appreciate this vindicating decision by a very influential federal court., said Sally Greenberg, the NCL’s Executive Director. “Indeed, we agree that the CFPB’s independent structure is critically important to keep it removed from political pressures and to allow the Bureau to do its job: protect consumers from predatory industry practices. Consumers have few allies looking after their interests when it comes to complicated financial transactions. The Bureau is one of the few of these institutions. We are very pleased that the court upheld its mission, structure and independence.”

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About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit http://www.nclnet.org.