On November 17, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is launching an inquiry into challenges that consumers face in using and securely sharing access to their digital financial records.

According to the CFPB’s announcement, consumers should have the ability to access and share their financial records in an electronic format. Technology advancement have made it possible to ensure that this type of access is available and makes it easy for the information to be shared with third-parties that may be able to use that information to offer better and/or more competitive products and services to consumers.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) recognizes consumers’ rights to access their financial records and account-related information and requires that the information “shall be available in an electronic form usable to consumers.” Pursuant to Dodd-Frank, the CFPB has rulemaking authority over this area.

As such, the CFPB is seeking information concerning the following:

  • Whether consumers are being provided appropriate opportunities to access and allow others to securely access their personal financial records. The CFPB believes that financial institutions often make it difficult for consumers to access their data in order to prevent competitors from offering products and services to their customers.
  • Available options for ensuring that consumer financial data that is shared with third-parties is done so in a secure manner.
  • What consumers are being told about how their financial information is being used by and transferred to third-parties and whether consumers have any control over that process.

You can view the CFPB’s Request for Information here.

The CFPB’s comment period will end 90 days after notice is formally published in the Federal Register.