WASHINGTON – Other investigations related to Wells Fargo may prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from sharing confidential information with House investigators, Director Richard Cordray said Thursday.
In a letter to the House Financial Services Committee, Cordray volunteered to testify at a Sept. 29 hearing on a recent settlement related to Wells Fargo's unauthorized opening of roughly 2 million accounts.
CFPB staff already participated in a bipartisan briefing with panel investigators on Sept. 20. But Cordray warned there were some things about the Wells case that he and other agency officials could not reveal.
"As has been the case in briefings responsive to previous Committee information requests on other topics, some of the information Bureau staff will share tomorrow constitutes confidential supervisory information," Cordray's letter said. "It is important for you to be aware, however, that other aspects of this matter continue to evolve in directions that cannot be completely foreseen at this point but that necessarily will complicate these discussions."
Cordray said that other federal agencies "may now be engaged in law-enforcement activities directly related to the bureau's work on the Wells Fargo matter, including investigation and inquiries that may be either civil or criminal in nature. Thus the Bureau will be taking care to proceed here in a manner that does not undermine or compromise that important ongoing work of the other federal law-enforcement agencies."
The CFPB's response comes amid complaints by senior Republican banking committee aides that the CFPB has not been forthcoming with information related to the investigation. The House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to Cordray last week when it announced its investigation requesting all records related to the allegations against Wells and correspondence between CFPB and the bank.