Rohit Chopra to Lead CFPB; Gary Gensler to Lead SEC

Rohit Chopra will be nominated to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Gary Gensler will be nominated to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Chopra will certainly be a strong ally for borrowers and consumers in his new role. He previously assisted Senator Elizabeth Warren in establishing the CFPB, where he then served as assistant director and student loan ombudsperson. Years prior, Chopra was a senior fellow at Generation Progress. He is currently at the Federal Trade Commission.

We hope that in his new role, should he be confirmed, Chopra will aim to protect and advocate for student loan borrowers. The agency has the great potential to roll back a number of harmful existing rules, and implement a variety of new regulations to reign in predatory lenders. 

See what our partners and allies have to say about this news. The full statements by organizations are accessible via hyperlinks.

Americans for Financial Reform Executive Director Lisa Donner:

“Gary Gensler has a strong track record from his time at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission of being willing to take on powerful industries. Under his leadership, this small and underfunded agency led the way to the first comprehensive regulation of U.S. over-the-counter derivatives markets, despite heavy opposition from industry lobbyists.

Gensler will need to bring the same spirit and drive to the even greater task of bringing needed reform to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Over the past decade, the SEC has been the financial regulator least responsive to the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis. It has continued to engage in deregulation, to the point of endangering the core New Deal framework for safe, transparent public markets. 

Today, weaknesses in the oversight of SEC-regulated entities and markets endanger the stability of the financial system and make workers and businesses vulnerable to exploitation by private equity and hedge funds. SEC filings have also deprived investors and the public of needed information on the practices of large corporations — including those related to climate risks and opportunities — and endanger the investments and savings of working people.

We look forward to working with Mr. Gensler on an ambitious and long overdue SEC regulatory agenda to strengthen fairness, transparency, and accountability in the markets, as well as an end to impunity for Wall Street predators and scammers. A commitment to advancing economic and racial justice, and to taking climate risks seriously are fundamental to creating sustainable capital markets.”

Americans for Financial Reform Executive Director Lisa Donner:

“We applaud the nomination of Rohit Chopra to lead the CFPB. His commitment to consumer protection, his effectiveness at using the tools of government to serve the public interest, and his willingness to challenge powerful corporate interests when necessary are exactly what the Bureau needs to fulfill its crucial consumer protection mission.

The CFPB has an incredibly important job to do, including stopping financial rip-offs, fighting discrimination, ending predatory lending, halting debt collection abuses, insisting on corporate accountability and much more. Right now, it also has an urgent role to play in helping families survive and recover from the pandemic-induced economic crisis, especially in Black and Latinx where people have been hardest hit, in concert with the incoming Administration’s broad rebuilding agenda.

A CFPB recommitted to its mission can make a huge difference in the lives of families across the country. We look forward to collaborating with Mr. Chopra and the CFPB staff to focus on the essential work of ending practices that trap people in debt, amplify racial inequality, and exploit people’s financial vulnerability.” 

Center for American Progress Vice President for Economic Policy Andres Vinelli:

“With the nominations of Gary Gensler and Rohit Chopra, President-elect Biden has signaled a new era for financial regulation and consumer protection. These are two experienced regulators who will bring steady hands to important agencies at a critical time and will turn the page on four years of letting big business run the show in Washington. As a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler has a track record of being a tough but fair regulator who puts the interests of investors, consumers, and the broad economy ahead. His deep experience at the U.S. Treasury Department, combined with his industry and regulatory expertise, makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Generation Progress Senior Director of Communications and Digital Strategy Charlotte Hancock:  

“A champion for student loan borrowers and a fierce defender of American consumers, Rohit Chopra will restore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s founding mission to protect Americans from bad actors who seek to exploit them. Chopra’s lengthy track record of fighting for the rights of student loan borrowers and for-profit college victims, including in his past work at Generation Progress as a CAP senior fellow, makes him an ideal candidate for this position—and someone who young Americans can trust to advocate for our generations.”

U.S. PIRG Consumer Campaign Director Mike Litt:

“Rohit Chopra has the ideal background for hitting the ground running at the CFPB. He helped build the CFPB from the start, served as its first student loan ombudsman and has most recently been a Federal Trade Commissioner. In his government service, he has used all policy levers available to protect consumers from corporate wrongdoers. We couldn’t be happier with his selection to restore the CFPB after three years of disastrous leadership.”


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