Controversy and banking regulators are old acquaintances. FDIC insurance, now an essential, was opposed bitterly by many bankers in the 1930s. And the Federal Reserve stirs more controversy on more fronts than you can track, from frustrated investors, savers, and bankers to conspiracy theorists.

Yet the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands in a class by itself, for controversy.

Attorney Alan Kaplinsky, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, says it was destined, given the crisis, that something like CFPB would arise. “Congress did the politically expedient thing,” he says. “It created a new agency to deal with a problem that had already occurred.” Once created, the bureau took off.