Saturday, December 09, 2017

Did Wells Fargo Rip You Off? Mick Mulvaney, Trump's Pick To Head The CFPB, Says "Too Bad"


3 crooks: Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan flanked by Trumpanzee & Mulvaney

There was a bit of a stir over Wells Fargo yesterday morning, Trump's exceedingly and sour joke of a CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, started it. A little background: "In September 2016, Wells Fargo admitted that its cutthroat culture and hyperrealistic sales goals led employees to open some 2 million fake bank and credit-card accounts in customers’ names without said customers’ permission, a number the bank has now adjusted to roughly 3.5 million. In July, it admitted to charging 800,000 people for auto-insurance they didn’t need, which may have resulted in 20,000 wrongful repossessions. In August, it agreed to pay $108 million to settle allegations that it charged military veterans hidden fees to refinance their mortgages. And last month, it announced that its foreign-exchange business was under 'new management' around the same time bankers in its forex operation were revealed to have overcharged hundreds of clients. In short, Wells is the Usain Bolt of ripping off customers. As such, it has also become a prime example of the very real need for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But now that the guy in charge of the agency is the same one who once co-sponsored legislation to abolish it, the bank can potentially rest much easier."
Back in October, Wells said it would issue refunds to approximately 100,000 homebuyers who were wrongly charged fees to lock in fixed-rate loans between between September 2013 and February 2017, and in November, the C.F.P.B. set settlement terms that were approved by Obama-era appointee Richard Cordray. According to Reuters, that proposal “envisions a Wells Fargo payout of tens of millions of dollars.” Though the conclusions of Mulvaney’s review are still unclear, the fact that he once called the bureau a “sick, sad joke” likely does not bode well for Wells customers hoping to receive payouts.

Mulvaney’s installation at the C.F.P.B. is part of movement by Team Trump to ease up on Wall Street and the banking industry, which they believe has been treated just so, so unfairly. On the campaign trail, Trump told voters, “I know Wall Street. I know the people on Wall Street. . . Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us. I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder.” But as the New York Times recently noted, Treasury Department officials are working to help firms to avoid being hit with the dreaded “too big to fail” tag, which results in strong oversight.

...Last week, Mulvaney said that he would “try and limit as much as we can what the C.F.P.B. does to sort of interfere with capitalism and with the financial services market.” That may not be great news for those Wells Fargo has made a cottage industry of ripping off, but for the San Fransisco bank, it’s Christmas come early!
That started a stir and Trumpanzee himself jumped into the fray with this early morning tweet sure to piss off Mulvaney:

Meanwhile, the Trump Regime had a clear vision of what they had in mind in replacing Rich Cordray at the CFPB with Mulvaney. Allied Progress put out some valuable research this week showing how the Regime is already turning an organization built around protecting consumers into one that Mulvaney is leading towards harming consumers while helping banksters, predatory lenders and Wall Street special interests.
Mulvaney is Going to Pair Independent Government Regulators at the CFPB with Political Staff – A Move Experts Say Threatens the Independence of ALL Financial Regulators: Mulvaney said “he plans to start hiring political staffers, and to pair them with the career officials who currently head various CFPB divisions.” But “Congress designed the CFPB to be an independent agency in the mold of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board. Those agencies typically have far fewer political appointees than other parts of the executive branch.” As one expert put it, “Mulvaney’s plans ‘should send shivers down the spine’ of anyone who supports independent financial regulation.” [Kevin Wack, “Mulvaney’s plan to embed political staffers in CFPB sparks backlash,” American Banker, 12/5/17.]
Mulvaney Could Shelve a CFPB Investigation into a Giant Spanish Bank (Santander) for Overcharging Auto Loan Customers-- a Longtime Mulvaney Staffer Lobbies for the Bank: The CFPB has been investigating Santander “for overcharging auto loan customers. Given the tenor of recent conversations inside the bureau, agency lawyers suspect the investigation could be shelved under Mr. Mulvaney, according to four people with knowledge of the case who requested anonymity to discuss an investigation.” In 2017, longtime Mulvaney staffer Natalee Binkholder “left Mulvaney’s office to work as a top lobbyist for Santander” where she has actively worked against CFPB rules. [Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stacy Cowley, “Consumer Bureau’s New Leader Steers a Sudden Reversal,” New York Times, 12/5/17; David Sirota, “Trump Conflict Of Interest: CFPB Pick Mulvaney Linked To Lobbyist For Bank Facing Possible CFPB Sanctions,” International Business Times, 11/26/17.]
Mulvaney is Going Easy on an Ohio-Company Which Misled More Than 100,000 Mortgage Customers and Faced an $8 Million Penalty: A federal judge agreed with the CFPB that Ohio-based Nationwide Biweekly Administration “misled more than 100,000 mortgage customers” and ordered the company to pay “$8 million in penalties.” Seeking to collect the penalty so that harmed consumers could be compensated, the CFPB sought to force the company to post a bond while proceedings in the case concluded. “Barely 48 hours later,” under Mulvaney, the CFPB reversed course. [Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stacy Cowley, “Consumer Bureau’s New Leader Steers a Sudden Reversal,” the New York Times, 12/5/17.]
Mulvaney is Freezing CFPB Data Collection Which is Used to Protect Consumers from Discrimination and Other Industry Misconduct: Mulvaney froze the CFPB’s collection of consumer data, ostensibly “due to cybersecurity concerns.” The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had previously concluded that “the CFPB has taken steps to ‘protect and secure’ the data it collects,” including by “‘anonymizing’ the material involving identifiable individuals.” Data collection helps the CFPB “identify discrimination and other industry misconduct, and can serve as a basis for writing rules.” A CFPB official said that data is “‘essential for effective financial regulation'” and “‘allows regulators to see how markets are functioning and monitor the impact of rules.'” [Yuka Hayashi, “New CFPB Chief Curbs Data Collection, Citing Cybersecurity Worries,” the Wall Street Journal, 12/04/17; Benjamin Goad, “GAO: Nothing unusual in CFPB data collection,” The Hill, 09/22/14; Trey Garrison, “CFPB: Data collection practices within the norm for regulators,” HousingWire, 09/23/14]
Mulvaney Froze Payments to Victims of Financial Crime (But Reversed Himself Following Intense Public Outcry): When Mulvaney took charge of the CFPB, he said “he would suspend all payments from the [civil penalties] fund for at least 30 days, until he had a chance to find out ‘what that fund is all about.'” The move “drew a rebuke from two Senate Democrats, who sent a letter calling the move ‘inexplicable.'” The public outcry was so intense that Mulvaney reversed his freeze on “payments to victims of financial crime” after only eight days. [Stacy Cowley, “Consumer Bureau Lifts Freeze on Payments to Crime Victims,” the New York Times, 12/04/17]
Mulvaney is Dropping an Investigation into a Company Accused of Preying on Detained Immigrants: Under Mulvaney, the CFPB suspended “its investigation and request for a civil investigation demand (CID) of Nexus Services,” “a Virginia-based firm that handles immigration bonds.” The company was under investigation for preying on detained immigrants. [“CFPB reverses course, suspends CID investigation,” RESPA News,12/04/17; Michael E. Miller, “Company accused of preying on detained immigrants is under investigation,” Washington Post, 10/20/17.]
Mulvaney may be Freezing Enforcement Actions Against Predatory Financial Institutions: While Mulvaney has said that the bureau will continue to meet its legal and statutory deadlines,” he has said he is “reviewing the various lawsuits CFPB is party to” and has already “requested delays in two cases where immediate action was required.” [Andrew Restuccia, “Mulvaney imposes temporary hiring, regulations freeze on CFPB,” PoliticoPro, 11/27/17; Victoria Guida, “Mulvaney: No plans to fire CFPB rival Leandra English,” PoliticoPro, 12/4/17; Sylvan Lane, “Mulvaney says he won’t fire consumer bureau deputy director who sued him,” The Hill, 12/04/17.]
Mulvaney is Freezing the Hiring of Additional Personnel Who Would Help Hold Financial Bad Actors Accountable: On November 27, his first day at the CFPB, Mick Mulvaney “implemented a temporary freeze on hiring and new regulations.” He said that the freezes “will last for 30 days.” [Andrew Restuccia, “Mulvaney imposes temporary hiring, regulations freeze on CFPB,” PoliticoPro, 11/27/17.]

Labels: , , ,


At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, if you were ripped off by WF and you are still a customer, you are too stupid to be called homo sapiens. You're on a level with lichens.

second, if you were NOT ripped off and are still a customer, you are too stupid to be called homo sapiens. Your level is oceanic algae.

Third, this is a republican admin. If you expected it to give a shit what crimes banks commit, you are dumber than a dung beatle.

fourth, if the DOJ were doing its job, ever, the CFPB would be unnecessary and WF would have been nationalized and broken up as an interstate criminal enterprise and a menace to society. But the DOJ hasn't done its job since (irony alert!) cheney/bush prosecuted ken lay et al. Certainly the obamanation DOJ refused to do its fucking job for 8 years, thus setting the precedent that shall from then on be the meme for the DOJ.

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Corporatism, where mere mortals are seen as a cash crop to harvest whenever a few bucks are needed.


Post a Comment

<< Home