Trump's finance watchdog wants to make the taxpayer-funded database of crooked banks go dark

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Elizabeth Warren's gift that keeps on giving — one of the most effective US government agencies, handing out real punishment to banks that break the law, fighting loan-sharks that prey on poor people, and maintaining a database of vetted consumer complaints against banks that have ripped them off.

But Trump hates the CFPB, so much that he put its direst enemy, Mick Mulvaney, in charge of it, and Mulvaney is making good on his promise to dismantle the agency he runs.

His latest move is a threat to pull down the Consumer Complaint Database, a public record of verified bank customers who have been screwed over by their financial institutions, along with rebuttals by the banks that they're complaining about.

The banks hate the CCB, and so does Mulvaney, calling it "a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government," and arguing that people wronged by banks shouldn't be given a forum to warn other potential bank customers away from bad actors.

The CCB holds a million public-facing complaints.

"Daylight is a great disinfectant and the American people have a right to know when tens of thousands of their fellow citizens are complaining about a financial institution," says Karl Frisch, the executive director of the consumer advocacy group Allied Progress. "The CFPB received tens of thousands complaints about Wells Fargo and that issue is now being resolved."

Frisch opposes closing the database to the public in part because he says academics, journalists, consumer groups like his should be able to have access to the information.

The Consumer Complaints Database That Could Disappear From View [Chris Arnold/NPR]

(via Naked Capitalism)