Monday, March 31, 2014

Patrick McHenry to lead hearing on alleged CFPB discrimination

Rep. Patrick McHenry will hear testimony this week on alleged discrimination and retaliation within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created in response to the financial crisis.

On Wednesday, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will hold the hearing and hear from a CFPB whistleblower. McHenry is chairman of the subcommittee.

The hearing comes amid allegations that the bureau's managers have given higher scores on performance evaluations to white employees than minorities. The scores are used to award raises and bonuses.

American Banker reported on the alleged discrimination this month. In addition, morale at the bureau is poor and management has been accused of favoring white men and creating a hostile work environment, the publication said it found after interviewing a dozen current and former CFPB staffers.

McHenry, whose district runs just west of the Catawba River to Asheville to the east, said the CFPB refused to send anyone to testify at the hearing.

“Discrimination and retaliation are unacceptable," McHenry said in a statement. "It’s unfortunate and deeply troubling that the CFPB refuses to answer questions about these allegations, particularly when the bureau’s grounds for doing so are patently frivolous in light of the fact that their employee is voluntarily appearing to tell her story.

"The hearing will go forward, with or without the CFPB’s participation.”

The CFPB could not be immediately reached for comment. Here's the response American Banker said it received:

CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford says the agency is still analyzing the performance evaluation data and indicated that it's preliminary and could change "depending on the outcome of pending reviews and appeals."  
"The CFPB is committed to fairness and equity in the workplace as well as the marketplace," Gilford said. "Just as we often remind lenders that strong compliance management systems are critical to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws, the bureau has taken a compliance management approach in monitoring and evaluating its own performance rating process."
McHenry, a Republican, has been critical of the CFPB before. In July, he said the bureau's structure was flawed and lacked accountability to Congress and the American people.


Archiguy said...

McHenry is a water-carrier for big banking interests. Who can forgive his cowardly attacks on Elizabeth Warren, a true champion of the people, which led to her dismissal as a candidate for Director of the CFPB, an organization she basically created? Well, besides the Republicans who cheered him on and gave him this subcommittee.

He has nothing but contempt for the CFPB, and for any consumer protections with regard to the financial industry in general. Allowing him to run this inquisition is akin to letting a mafia chieftain run a racketeering trial.

Garth Vader said...


You do know that most of Kay Hagan's top 20 campaign contributors are big banking interests, right?

Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, BNY Mellon, BoA, Genworth Financial, Goldman Sachs.

And two other Top 20 contributors are tobacco companies (Lorillard and Altria (formerly Phillip Morris)).

Archiguy said...

Garth - The banks contribute to both parties' candidates to cover their bets. So any contributions to Ms. Hagan wouldn't be unexpected, because a Democratic victory 6 years ago WAS expected. But they give a lot more to the Republicans as a rule, especially since the GOP takeover of 2010.

Watch how their contributions are allocated this November between Hagan and her GOP opponent. How do YOU think that will fall out? Hagan will be lucky to get one thin dime out of 'em.

Besides, this article was about li'l Patrick McHenry. And he's a form of life slightly above pond scum but below rattlesnake. The LAST guy that should be investigating the CFPB.