Magazine article American Banker

What's in a Name? for Mulvaney's CFPB, Quite a Lot

Magazine article American Banker

What's in a Name? for Mulvaney's CFPB, Quite a Lot

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Finkle

Would the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by any other name still protect consumers?

With apologies to Shakespeare, it's a question many in Washington are asking amid acting Director Mick Mulvaney's curious quest to invert the CFPB's name back into the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

"I don't know why we call it the CFPB, but that is not the name of the organization," he told Congress earlier this month.

He reiterated those comments Tuesday morning at an American Bankers Association conference, insinuating that the change came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the bureau's founder.

Mulvaney has suggested the move is an effort to hew more closely to the statutory language of the Dodd-Frank Act, which spells out the bureau's name that way -- although it's worth noting that the phrase "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" is also contained at least twice in the law.

The agency has gone so far as to request a name change with The Associated Press, whose stylebook is used by newsrooms across the country.

The acting director hinted at the switch last month, with the introduction of an old-school seal for the bureau, featuring an eagle with a decorative shield. Encircling the illustration is the agency's name, spelled out as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

The question is why Mulvaney is picking this seemingly superficial fight, even as he looks to overhaul central aspects of the bureau's very functioning. …

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