President's man comes out fighting


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The Independent Online

Barack Obama's pick to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, attempted to defuse criticism of the agency in testimony ahead of confirmation hearings in the Senate yesterday.

Republicans, channelling concern in the banking industry that the CFPB will impose too many restrictions on lending practices, are planning to block any appointment unless the agency's powers are watered down.

Mr Cordray, a former attorney general of Ohio and a sometime TV quiz show champion, said honest banks have nothing to fear – and everything to gain. "First, the businesses that cheat can gain a significant and unfair advantage, and law enforcement protects honest businesses against the cheaters," he said. "Second, keeping the marketplace clean makes sure consumers are treated fairly and gives them confidence they need to participate in that market."