ANHD Statement Condemning Recent Attacks on the CFPB

October 26, 2022

Statement by ANHD's Executive Director, Barika Williams, in response to recent attacks on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: Financial industry lawsuit filed Sept 2022 against the CFPB’s actions to combat discrimination and the Oct 2022 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit claiming that the agency’s funding structure is unconstitutional.

Just two years ago, in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people by the police with subsequent protests nationwide calling attention to the harm caused by systemic racism in the US and wanting real solutions, the nation’s largest banks had to come to terms with their role and announced new initiatives to combat racism and root out discrimination in their institutions and practices

Now, when the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking steps to do just that, these same institutions are using their collective power and money to sue the agency and evade responsibility, while once again attacking the independence of the CFPB and thus undermining its ability to carry out its mission to protect consumers.  A coalition of banks and large businesses, including the US Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association, and the Consumer Bankers Association claims the CFPB is overstepping its authority by adding discrimination to its exam process to address unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP).  What could be more unfair, deceptive or abusive than patterns of discrimination that continue to lock marginalized communities out of the financial system or subject them to higher cost products?

Just two weeks later, the attacks continued when the Fifth Circuit ruling came down, claiming the agency’s funding stream to be unconstitutional. As such, it challenges any actions taken by the agency under its current structure. While the decision can still be appealed, it creates a climate of uncertainty, adds further momentum to the industry’s efforts to weaken the CFPB, and puts myriad protections at risk, ultimately placing consumers at risk in a system that is already stacked against them.

ANHD is appalled, but not surprised. The system was designed to serve wealthy, white, male, cis, able communities, and the largest banks benefit from the system as it is.  This action only reinforces how far banks will go to maintain the status quo. ANHD stands with the CFPB.  We condemn the actions of the Fifth Circuit, and we call on the banks to drop their frivolous lawsuit and direct their money and power towards efforts that make up for past harms and end discriminatory practices once and for all.”

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