Analyzing the CFPB’s Budget Request

In what is viewed as another step to reign in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney has notified Federal Reserve Board (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen that he doesn’t want any money in the second fiscal quarter of 2018 to operate the Bureau.  Instead, he will draw from a $177 million reserve fund established by former Director Richard Cordray.

The CFPB is funded through the Fed, and the Director is authorized to request money on a quarterly basis subject to a $663 million funding cap for fiscal year 2018.  Cordray had asked the Fed for $217 million for the first quarter of 2018, and his 2018 budget was set at $630.4 million.  Mulvaney says he expects the agency only needs $145 million in the second quarter.

Mulvaney has not revealed what operations he intends to trim.  The two biggest ticket items in Cordray’s 2018 fiscal year budget were Centralized Services ($188.6 million) and Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending ($166.5 million).  Cordray had set aside $269.5 million for employee compensation for 1,792 full-time equivalent employees; 754 of them in the area of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending.  But CFPB employees are generally protected by the federal merit system, making it very difficult for the Director to fire them.


Sue Johnson is past executive director of RESPRO, the Real Estate Services Providers Council, and a regular contributor to REAL Trends.