This is Why We Need a Consumer Protection Agency

Wells Fargo announced yesterday that is has fired over 5,000 employees for creating fake bank and credit card accounts in customers' names without their consent and then charging fees for those accounts. In total, these employees created over 2 million fake accounts generating massive amounts of money for themselves and the company.

After being tipped off by the Los Angeles Times, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau conducted their own investigation and has now fined the bank nearly $200 million.

"Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses," Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a statement. [...]

Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers.

Republicans have fought tooth and nail against the Consumer Protection Bureau since before it was even began protecting consumers. You may recall that Republicans in Congress blocked the confirmation of Elizabeth Warren as the agency's director for an entire year, forcing President Obama to make a recess appointment of Richard Cordray.

Republicans in Congress have continued to fight against the agency, inserting language into various unrelated bills that would defang the agency.

The Consumer Protection Bureau was created under the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which even some liberals have criticized or called for its dismantling.