Saber-Rattling or Fair Warning: CFPB Director Rohit Chopra Signals Intent to Bring Enforcement Actions Against Executives and Employees of Large Banks

American Bar Association Business Law Committee Journal
13 minute read | March.31.2022

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has never brought a claim against an executive, officer, or managerial employee of a large bank alleging that the individual participated in unlawful conduct. Over a quarter of the CFPB’s more than 300 public enforcement actions to date have included claims against individuals. Almost without exception, however, these cases involve small entities—typically those operating on the fringes of the consumer financial services market.

This may be about to change. CFPB Director Rohit Chopra has long been critical of the perceived practice—both at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and at the CFPB—of bringing claims against individuals only when associated with small entities, and he has repeatedly expressed his commitment to name individual officers and employees who are alleged to have directed or participated in unlawful conduct at larger institutions. As an FTC Commissioner, he dissented from the decision to settle with a large technology company, in part, because he believed the FTC should have investigated whether the company’s executives violated the law.