Removing Barriers Blog

CFPB Announces Initiatives to Prevent Consumer Harm
Posted March 06, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB announced new or revised initiatives intended to advance its mission to prevent consumer harm:

  • Implementing an advisory opinion program to provide clear guidance to assist regulated entities in better understanding their legal and regulatory obligations;
  • Amending its responsible business conduct bulletin; and
  • Recommending Congress enact legislation to permit the CFPB to create a whistleblower award program.

Under the advisory opinion program, parties would be permitted to submit requests for an advisory opinion to the Bureau via its website.  The Bureau will issue additional procedures for how requests will be addressed, including how the Bureau will prioritize opinion requests.  To increase transparency and to provide regulatory certainty to all regulated entities and other stakeholders, the Bureau intends to publish the responding advisory opinion in the Federal Register and on its website.

The updated responsible business conduct bulletin is intended to clarify the Bureau’s approach to responsible business conduct and emphasize the importance of such conduct.  The bulletin identifies four categories of responsible conduct: self-assessing, self-reporting, remediation, and cooperation. If an entity meaningfully engages in these activities, the Bureau will favorably consider it, along with other relevant factors, in addressing violations of Federal consumer financial law in supervisory and enforcement matters.

Finally, the Bureau recommended Congress adopt legislation amending Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act to provide authority to establish a whistleblower award program.  Under the proposed legislation, in cases where a whistleblower provides voluntary information that leads to a successful enforcement action, the Bureau will be able to pay an award based on a percentage of the monetary sanctions collected in the action.