While legal disputes over temporary leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continue, an appointment of a permanent head may not be far off.
According to industry observers, National Credit Union Administration Chair J. Mark McWatters is on the shortlist of potential CFPB directors, American Banker reported.
If President Donald Trump ultimately picks McWatters for the role, the appointment could cool the partisan tension over CFPB leadership. Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as acting chief has been vigorously protested by critics on the left, according to the report. Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, had previously criticized the CFPB.
Unlike other candidates under consideration, McWatters has not openly criticized the CFPB. However, he has previously asked the agency to roll back credit union oversight in several instances. Additionally, McWatters was confirmed to lead the NCUA over the summer. This suggests his ability to secure the necessary votes for the role, offering the administration another way forward.
McWatter joins others whose names have been floated in recent weeks. Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee; and Keith Noreika, the former acting comptroller of the currency, have been the subject of speculation to replace Richard Cordray, who resigned in November to run for governor of Ohio.
McWatters' name has not been previously publicly discussed, according to the report.
Although it is uncertain when Trump will announce his choice, American Banker said one source familiar with the situation said a selection could be made early this month.
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