The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced on March 12 the reauthorization of the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) entered into by the two agencies on January 20, 2012. As in the original, the new MOU addresses coordinated efforts in the areas of law enforcement, rulemaking and guidelines, research, consumer education, operational planning, and information sharing and confidentiality. Notably, the provisions with respect to inter-agency information sharing remain unchanged. The FTC can request that the CFPB turn over examination reports and confidential supervisory information pertaining to any entity subject to the FTC’s jurisdiction.
The FTC affectionately has characterized the reauthorization by reference to lyrics by Elvis Costello: “What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love, and understanding?” The FTC then croons that “when it comes to protecting consumers, ensuring a vibrant marketplace for financial products and services, and using resources efficiently,” the two agencies are “in harmony.” Given the breadth of information sharing between the two agencies, companies subject to joint jurisdiction should monitor closely any developments that result from the reauthorized MOU.