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Consumer bureau director defends handling of Wells Fargo scandal in face of GOP criticism

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Michael Reynolds / EPA)
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Michael Reynolds / EPA)

The federal government’s consumer financial watchdog is defending his handling of the Wells Fargo & Co. unauthorized accounts scandal in the face of Republican allegations that the agency failed to catch the problem and has stymied a congressional investigation into how it handled the case.

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said he is “quite proud” of the team that looked into Wells Fargo’s sales abuses.

“Clearly our team, along with our partners, has performed a tremendous public service here,” Cordray wrote last week to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The letter is the latest salvo in an acrimonious battle between Cordray, a Democrat who heads the powerful agency created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and Hensarling, who has called for President Trump to fire Cordray and is pushing legislation gutting the bureau’s power.

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