The CFPB recently issued its semiannual regulatory agenda. The notice indicates that the agenda is fluid as the Bureau transitions from an acting director to a director. As a preliminary matter, the notice points out how the “Bureau is mindful of [the] critical important[ance of] rulemaking…in light of the dire financial circumstances so many Americans find themselves in and of the impact of the pandemic and the resulting financial crisis on millions of consumers and small businesses. The Bureau is also mindful that the data show that these hardships fall disproportionately on families and small businesses in communities of color.”
The Bureau is “working on a rulemaking to address the availability of consumer financial account data in electronic form, which has helped consumers understand their finances and make better-informed financial decisions in a variety of ways.” This includes access under Dodd-Frank Sec. 1033. Among other things,
[c]onsumer access to their own financial information can foster improved transparency in credit decisions that affect consumers, including small and very small businesses relying on consumer credit access, and provide some protection against poor credit ratings based on serious errors in credit reports. This ability of consumers to access this information is particularly important at a time when financial institutions are increasingly using ‘‘alternative data’’ in making credit decisions. The Bureau supports innovation and believes that appropriate implementation of section 1033 can lead to competitive, consumer-friendly markets, while recognizing the importance of ensuring the safety and security of consumer account data.
The Bureau is reviewing comments received in response to the ANPRM on Sec. 1033 and is considering those comments as it assesses potential next steps.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More