The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlined a less aggressive regulatory mission for the watchdog agency, saying it will enforce consumer protections but not go beyond its mandate under the Dodd-Frank law.

The less aggressive stance was welcomed by the financial services industry, which pushed for reining in an agency it felt had been overstepping its mandate for years, stymieing the industry with rules that were difficult and expensive to follow.

"The changes are necessary because there’s an enormous cost with the regulations and the other initiatives that Cordray was involved with in the last five or six years, and that was costing a lot of money for our clients and making it difficult in terms of compliance," says Alan Kaplinsky, founder of the Consumer Financial Services Group for Ballard Spahr, a law firm that represents banks and other financial companies.

Kaplinsky says those costs were being passed along to consumers.

"The CFPB was creating real harm and impeding the industry not because of the letter of the law but because of the whim of the agency," he says. "Under Mulvaney it will be going after more things that are clear-cut, things like deception and fraud."

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