The venerable Federal Trade Commission had been working to protect consumers from unfair business practices for 96 years when Wall Street reform in 2010 created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to expand and centralize protections against unfair lending practices. Now, the two agencies are officially cooperating with each other.

The nation’s new consumer watchdog is preparing to supervise “nonbanks” as part of its mandate to protect Americans from deceptive or abusive lending practices. For markets – such as debt collection, consumer reporting, auto financing, and money services businesses – the CFPB said it can supervise “larger participants,” but it must define what a “larger participant” means.

Bypassing staunch GOP opposition, President Obama today appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to head the six-month-old Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, exercising his “recess appointment” authority. Doing so is already creating more partisan bickering over the controversial agency, which opened its doors in July, one year after its creation was mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.