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Andrew L. Sandler and Benjamin K. Olson Authored a Law360 Article, "Personnel Is Policy: Succession Possibilities At The CFPB"


Andrew L. Sandler, Benjamin K. Olson

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is headed by a single director, which means the replacement of one person with another can have a dramatic effect on the agency’s rule-making, examination and enforcement agenda and, by extension, the industries it regulates and consumers of financial products and services. As expectations that the president would fire the CFPB’s current director, Richard Cordray, have given way to anticipation that Cordray will resign shortly to pursue elected office in Ohio, affected constituencies have great interest in understanding who will become the interim director until the administration selects and the Senate confirms a new director, a process that could take many months.

As discussed below, the law is not entirely clear on whether current Acting Deputy Director David Silberman becomes the acting director pursuant to statute or whether the president has the authority to select another person for that role. The answer to this question will have a significant impact on the operation of the CFPB over the next several months. Indeed, that answer will determine whether the agency will continue business as usual as defined by the current director’s model of aggressive enforcement activity or whether a significant change in its operations expected under a new director appointed by the president will commence in the short term.

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Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.

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