'BCFP' no more: Kraninger scraps plan to rebrand CFPB

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger has halted efforts to change the name of the agency to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, according to a memo she wrote employees on Wednesday.

In the memo, Kraninger said the issue was an "early priority" because implementing a name change would have impacted required reports and legal filings. An internal agency memo had said the cost to the financial services industry could be roughly $300 million if the name change went forward.

“I have officially halted all ongoing efforts to make changes to existing products and materials related to the name correction initiative,” Kraninger wrote in the memo.

Former acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney initiated the name change in March claiming the Dodd-Frank Act specified that the agency was called “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection." Though the financial reform law also mentioned the "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," Mulvaney said BCFP was the correct name and commissioned a seal reflecting that. Kraninger said the agency will continue to use that seal and may refer to itself as BCFP in legal filings, but it would not seek to change its name more broadly.

“For statutorily required reports, legal filings, and other items specific to the Office of the Director, we will use the Bureau seal and the statutory name we were given in Dodd-Frank," Kraninger said. “The name 'Consumer Financial Protection Bureau' and the existing CFPB logo will continue to be used for all other materials."

Kraninger gave several reasons why the CFPB should stick with that acronym, even if it uses BCFP on legal filings.

"We have a legal name but will be using our colloquial name and the branded acronym 'CFPB,'" she wrote. "Many of us have legal names but use nicknames without much confusion. My birth certificate says Kathleen, but I also answer to Kathy. I think we can do the same here. I believe this decision is most efficient and effective for our continued work together."

Kraninger said she tapped the CFPB’s acting Chief Operating Officer Kate Fulton “to develop and disseminate guidance on the use of the name, seal and logo of the Bureau.”

The memo was first posted online by consumer advocacy group Allied Progress.

The decision by Kraninger came just after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for a probe into the proposed name change. Warren sent a letter on Monday to Mark Bialek, the inspector general for the Federal Reserve and CFPB, calling for an investigation into the legality and cost of changing the agency’s name.

“We are concerned that the name change effort imposes unnecessary and significant costs on taxpayers and the business community, deprives the CFPB of funds it can use to protect consumers, and violates legal requirements,” Warren wrote in the letter.

Warren cited the internal report that estimated the name change would cost the CFPB between $9 million to $19 million.

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Regulatory reform Policymaking Dodd-Frank Kathy Kraninger Mick Mulvaney CFPB
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