"Cordray's resignation letter ran through a list of the agency's accomplishments, including "$12 billion in relief recovered for almost 30 million consumers; stronger safeguards against irresponsible mortgage practices that caused the financial crisis and hurt millions of Americans; giving people a voice by handling over 1.3 million complaints that led to problems getting fixed for vast numbers of individuals, and creating new ways to bring financial education to the public so that people can take more control over their economic lives".
Even as Cordray has declined to answer questions about his political ambitions, his opponents began to galvanize against him. The rule was opposed by the Treasury and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, both of which are run by Trump appointees.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, applauded the news in a release; Hensarling has been a vocal critic of Cordray and the CFPB. "The extreme over-regulation it imposes on our economy leads to higher costs and less access to financial products and services, particularly for Americans with lower and middle incomes".
Rumors had been swirling about Cordray's potential departure from the agency in order to pursue the Democratic nomination for the OH governorship next year. GOP lawmakers opposed the agency's creation through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but were outvoted by Democrats.
Trump has largely appointed bank-friendly figures to head up financial regulators, leaving Cordray as something of a glaring exception to the new, bank-friendly environment in Washington.
Analysts expect that Trump's new pick to lead the agency will be less aggressive. The provision made it easier for consumers to team up to sue banks and credit card companies.
In October, he announced the completion of a top CFPB priority: a rule aimed at cracking down on payday lenders.
"While we haven't always agreed with Director Corday on issues, we have always shared his goal of wanting to help consumers and appreciated his willingness to engage with us", said American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols.
Cordray had previously been attorney general of Ohio.
Ohio's current governor, Republican John Kasich, can't seek reelection when his second term ends in January 2019. Several Republicans have announced their candidacy for the governorship.
The CFPB gets its funding from the Federal Reserve and its director is given significant leverage to go after what he or she considers important and can not be removed from the position except for wrongdoing.
At the CFPB, a shadow has hung over Mr. Cordray ever since a federal appeals court ruled in October 2016 that the agency was unconstitutionally structured. However, the statement did not indicate the basis for the White House's position.