This morning we attended the meeting of the Financial Services Roundtable’s Consumer Working Group, which featured a presentation by David Silberman, Acting Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Deputy Director Silberman described the Bureau’s rulemaking process, touched on a handful of its ambitions for rules under a range of federal consumer financial laws, and encouraged persons to participate in the process by submitting comments.

  • Prepaid Account under Regulation E—The Bureau’s final rule is expected to be adopted within the next 30 to 60 days.
  • Proposals for First-Party Creditor Debt Collection Activities—Deputy Director Silberman explained that: (i) there are many distinct types of first-party creditors; (ii) the “policy issues” are different for debt collection activities performed by a first-party creditor (relative to a collector who buys debts in default); and (iii) any future requirements the Bureau could propose should “make sense” for the contexts in which the requirements are intended.
  • Innovation—Expressing surprise that so few have approached the Bureau to obtain a waiver from disclosure requirements under federal law when engaged in a pilot program for new types or methods for delivering notices, Deputy Director Silberman said the Bureau is “open for business” to engage with covered persons to find ways to improve notices for consumer financial products or services—particularly in the environment for mobile devices. See 12 U.S.C. § 5532(e) (authorizing the Bureau to determine that a person conducting a trial program is in compliance with, or exempt from, a requirement under an enumerated consumer law to provide one or more notices to a consumer).
  • Participating in the Bureau’s Rulemaking Process—Deputy Director Silberman offered a number of perspectives about the Bureau’s process for assessing comments, and all centered on a theme: the comments matter. Even if the Bureau might be disinclined to withdraw a proposed rule, financial institutions, technology companies, and others can shape the scope, particular requirements, and compliance date of a final rule.