Critics Look for Opening to Fire Head of the CFPB – By Yuka Hayashi Updated Dec. 27, 2016 10:15 a.m. ET


Richard Cordray is disliked by many for helping build the agency into an aggressive financial regulator

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifying before a Senate panel in Washington on Sept. 20.ENLARGE

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifying before a Senate panel in Washington on Sept. 20. Photo: Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON—A battle is intensifying over the future of Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as Republicans search for any past transgressions that would allow President-elect Donald Trump to fire him.

Mr. Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, is admired by consumer groups and disliked by many GOP lawmakers and financial-industry players for helping build the five-year-old agency into an aggressive financial regulator.

Republicans want Mr. Cordray ousted and replaced with someone who reflects their views, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law that created the CFPB states that the president may only remove its director for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.”

The agency’s critics are now openly calling for Mr. Cordray’s removal and discussing potential faults he may have committed during his tenure at the CFPB’s helm—so the incoming president can fire him for cause.

“President Trump, it’s time to say ‘you’re fired’ to Mr. Cordray,” wrote Thaya Brook Knight, associate director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

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