April 02, 2014

Panel examines discrimination claims at CFPB

April 3, 2014 – The House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday on allegations that CFPB employees have faced discrimination and retaliation based on race.

The hearing, at which CFPB officials declined to testify, was prompted by reports published in the American Banker that cited a pattern of ranking white employees higher than minority employees, as well as accusations of a hostile work environment.

A CFPB employee testified that there are a "trail of victims" afraid to speak out and currently employed there. The witness, Angela Martin, is a lawyer in the agency's enforcement division who made allegations of widespread discrimination and retaliation on the basis of gender and race at the bureau. The committee also heard from a former investigator with the Defense Investigators Group who had investigated the claims.

Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., wrote CFPB Director Richard Cordray earlier this month to request records of employee performance reviews.

In the wake of the accusations, nine Democratic members of the subcommittee have written the inspectors general at CFPB and all other financial regulators about personnel practices and the possibility of unfair or discriminatory practices against minority and women employees. NCUA is among the agencies addressed in the letters.