Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On July 24, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – a government agency that enforces federal consumer financial law –announced plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) later in 2020 on consumer-authorized access to financial records, according to a news release from the CFPB.

The announcement follows a February 2020 CFPB symposium on “Consumer Access to Financial Records and Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act” which included experts from consumer groups, fintechs, trade associations, financial institutions, and data aggregators. The CFPB has released a summary report of the symposium.

The CFPB symposium reviewed consumer-authorized third-party access to financial records, which has been identifying and promoting consumer interests – in access, control, security, privacy, and other areas – and allowing the market to develop without direct regulatory intervention. The ANPR will allow the CFPB to:

  • Solicit stakeholder input on ways that the CFPB might effectively and efficiently implement the financial access rights described in Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Different market participants have helped authorized data access become more secure, effective, and subject to consumer control. The CFPB expects these trends to continue, but also sees indications that some emerging market practices may not reflect the access rights described in Section 1033.
  • Seek information regarding the possible scope of data that might be made subject to protected access as well as information that might bear on other terms of access, such as those relating to security, privacy, effective consumer control over access and accessed data, and accountability for data errors and unauthorized access.
  • Inquire into whether – and if so, how – issues of regulatory uncertainty with respect to Section 1033 and its interaction with other statutes within the CFPB’s jurisdiction, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), may be impacting this market to the potential detriment of consumers; and seek information that may help resolve such uncertainty.

In 2010, Congress authorized the CFPB under Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act to help ensure consumers can leverage the data in their records. Since then, the extent to which financial institutions, data aggregators, and fintechs use consumer-authorized access to provide new products and services has grown in scope and scale.

The CFPB helps consumer finance markets work by identifying and addressing outdated or unnecessary burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to control their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

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