The CFPB announced its final Advisory Opinions Policy “to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the Bureau’s existing regulations and provide guidance to entities on outstanding regulatory uncertainty. Under the final Policy, entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements can submit a request to the Bureau where uncertainty exists. Regulatory certainty promotes compliance if the law applies and avoids unnecessary compliance costs if the law does not.”
The Bureau also addressed an important issue for businesses in and beyond the consumer reporting ecosystem. Under the AO Policy, third-party requestors can seek advisory opinions on behalf of unnamed entities if the request is made with additional standards set out for such requests.
The Bureau announced that it will “prioritize certain requests for response, and issue opinions with a description of the incoming request. The Bureau may also decide to issue advisory opinions on its own initiative. To increase transparency, the Bureau will publish all advisory opinions in the Federal Register and” on a dedicated webpage, Advisory Opinions Program. The Bureau said that it will “prioritize open questions…that can legally be addressed through an interpretive rule. The Bureau intends to further evaluate potential topics for advisory opinions based on additional factors, including: alignment with the Bureau’s statutory objectives; size of the benefit offered to consumers by resolution of the interpretive issue; known impact on the actions of other regulators; and impact on available Bureau resources.”