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U.S. consumer watchdog’s enforcement chief to step down: WSJ

© Reuters.  U.S. consumer watchdog's enforcement chief to step down: WSJ© Reuters. U.S. consumer watchdog’s enforcement chief to step down: WSJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement chief, Anthony Alexis, plans to leave the agency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, a move that could slow the regulator’s policing of financial companies.

Alexis has led the bureau’s enforcement operations during most of its six years of existence, the Journal said, helping Director Richard Cordray run the agency that is reviled by Republicans who say it reaches too far in its rules and enforcement and should be more accountable to lawmakers.

Alexis, the highest-profile figure to leave the agency under the Trump administration, has agreed to stay in the job until a replacement has been found, the newspaper said, citing an announcement by the official. Cordray’s term ends in July 2018.

The Journal said the agency had filed more than 30 enforcement actions this year, a pace similar to last year’s.

“The pace of enforcement matters may go slower as a result of the departure, as staff make adjustments to the internal structure of the Office of Enforcement to process the implications of the change,” the Journal quoted Jennifer Lee, a Dorsey & Whitney partner and a former CFPB enforcement official, as saying.

Some Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to weaken and even dismantle the agency, which was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Democrats say it helps ensure fair treatment for middle-class people unable to fight fraud on their own.

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