Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is consulting with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the creation of a state-level version of the federal regulatory agency.
The Los Angeles Times reported
that Cordray, who has been largely absent from public view after losing last year’s Ohio gubernatorial election, is working with Newsom in reworking California’s Department of Business Oversight
into the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. The current agency is already engaged in consumer protection via the oversight of state-licensed financial institutions, and Newsom proposed that its successor agency will expand on its tasks to include new regulatory powers and enforcement responsibilities.
“This is a commendably bold step,” Cordray stated. “It will put California at the forefront of consumer financial protection at the state level … When California makes something a priority, national companies need to respond. California is too big, and it makes no sense to have different practices in different states.”
Cordray voiced his approval of Manny Alvarez, who has served as commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight since last May, to run the new department. Alvarez was formerly an enforcement lawyer at the CFPB and was a California deputy attorney general before going to Washington.
However, Cordray has nothing positive to say about his successors at the helm of the CFPB, describing the interim director Mick Mulvaney as “a wretched, awful choice” and the current director, Kathleen Kraninger, as merely as a “a career administrator.”
Cordray also announced that he has authored a book on his CFPB directorship called Watchdog, which is scheduled for publication next month.