Dave Uejio, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plans to prioritize COVID-19 relief for consumers and racial justice issues during his time at the helm of the agency.
In a blog post, Uejio said he plans to focus on the companies who are involved in providing pandemic relief through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The CFPB will target racial discrimination supervision issues, especially fair lending violations, and other factors that affect “communities of color and other vulnerable populations.”
He specifically cited six findings from the agency’s most recent supervisory highlights report.
Some banks only took Paycheck Protection Program applications from existing customers, which “may have a disproportionate negative impact on minority-owned businesses.” Mortgage and student loan servicers who violated CARES Act forbearance requirements will come in for increased scrutiny, as well as servicers who violated deferment payment stops.
The bureau will investigate companies that allegedly misreported accounts to credit bureaus and violated CARES Act amendments that added protections to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Uejio said, and banks who set off stimulus payments and unemployment insurance benefits in order to cover bank fees and other debts.
“Moving forward, the CFPB will take aggressive action to ensure that regulated companies follow the law and meet their obligations to assist consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Uejio said. “In some cases, penalties may be necessary.”
Uejio also promised his agency would supervise financial institutions for compliance with the Military Lending Act, reversing a Trump-era policy.
“We need to take swift action now, in order to make sure our actions help people in the middle of the crisis, rather than just cleaning up after the fact,” Uejio said. “Protecting economically vulnerable consumers is core to the mission of the CFPB.”
Uejio became acting head of the agency last week when Kathy Kraninger resigned at the request of President Biden.