House to investigate allegations of racism at CFPB

by Ryan Smith28 Mar 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is under congressional investigation after recent reports of discrimination and retaliation within the agency.

The House Financial Services Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Committee will hold a hearing on the allegations next week. The hearing comes after an American Banker report that CFPB managers “show a pattern of ranking white employees distinctly better than minorities in performance reviews used to grant raises and issue bonuses” and that “management has been accused in several cases of favoring Caucasian men and of creating a hostile work environment.”

Congressional leaders wrote to CFPB Director Richard Cordray March 6 to request records of employee performance reviews. They also expressed concern about the number of discrimination claims filed on the basis of age, sex, religion, disability and national origin.

“The revelations uncovered in the American Banker story are extremely troubling,” said Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). “Coupled with the significant number of discrimination claims filed by CFPB employees, this raises serious questions about the management of the Bureau.”

The subcommittee invited CFPB officials to testify at the hearing. However, the CFPB has refused the request.

“Discrimination and retaliation are unacceptable, and the subcommittee next week will hear from a CFPB whistleblower who has come forward with allegations of discrimination and retaliation that have been confirmed by an independent investigator who was hired by the CFPB,” McHenry said. “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.”


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