Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said Wednesday that he would leave the agency this month.
"It has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the consumer bureau by working alongside all of you here," Corday wrote in an email to the agency's employees. "I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public. And I trust that new leadership will see that value also and work to preserve it."
Cordray, a Democrat and a holdover from the Obama administration, was appointed to a five-year term that was to end in July 2018. He was widely expected to step down before then to run for governor in Ohio, his home state.
He recently visited Tampa for a Consumer Advisory Board meeting, where he discussed reverse mortgages and the CFPB's new rule on payday, auto title and high-cost installment loans.
Asked at the time by the Tampa Bay Times whether he thought the CFPB was losing clout under the Trump administration, Cordray didn't answer directly.
"I think we have the same mission we've always had which is to protect and support consumers in the financial marketplace," he said. "And I think that's an important mission that is needed by people all across the country."
Cordray, who has resisted efforts by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to rein in regulation, did not discuss his future plans in his email to the bureau's staff members Wednesday. A bureau spokesman declined to comment.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Malena Carollo contributed to this report.