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CFPB Launches Informational Circulars Program

  • In a May 16 blog post, Rohit Chopra, Director of the CFPB, announced a new system for providing guidance to sister regulatory agencies with consumer financial protection roles, such as State AGs. The CFPB will begin issuing Consumer Financial Protection Circulars to a wide range of agencies responsible for enforcement of federal consumer financial law. Two circulars have already been published—one on deceptive representations using the FDIC’s name or logo or deposit insurance; and an initial publication announcing the circular program itself.
  • In introducing the program, Chopra expressed concern, given the number of agencies and regulators responsible for various enforcement roles, of the risk of inconsistent enforcement strategies and approaches. In his initial blog post, Chopra noted that, “Consistency is [] imperative to creating a level playing field between companies that compete in the same market but are subject to the jurisdiction of different enforcers.”
  • Additionally, the initial blog post specified that the circulars will be policy statements pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and will provide guidance regarding applicable law, as well as explanations of considerations concerning exercise of regulatory authority by the CFPB and other enforcing agencies. The circulars will also be publicly released to increase transparency for the benefit of the public and regulated entities.