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Ben Olson Quoted in American Banker Article, "Why the CFPB Has Not Named a Permanent No. 2"

Benjamin K. Olson

Ben Olson was quoted in Kate Berry's American Banker article, "Why the CFPB Has Not Named a Permanent No. 2," on February 25, 2016. 

Wanted: a thick-skinned lawyer and consumer advocate willing to tackle the No. 2 job at a fledgling agency that consistently angers Republicans, powerful bankers and even some of its own employees.

That rough job description might characterize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's search for a permanent deputy director. The second-in-command to CFPB Director Richard Cordray is proving to be a tough job to fill, particularly in an election year.

While the position does not require Senate confirmation, a permanent deputy director could run the CFPB for a long time once Cordray's five-year term is over in mid-2018, especially if a political battle breaks out over Cordray's successor. Given the contentious fight over Cordray's recess appointment before he was ultimately confirmed by the Senate in July 2013, the agency may wait to name a permanent No. 2 until after the election, according to observers.

"This close to an election, it may not be a terribly attractive position for someone looking to enter government," said Ben Olson, a partner at BuckleySander and former deputy assistant director for regulations at the CFPB. "And it takes time to fill a high-level position. I don't think the deputy job will be filled on a permanent basis until after the election. In the meantime, David Silberman is more than capable of holding the fort."

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