The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released its evaluation report of the CFPB’s Consumer Response Unit. While the report was generally favorable and found that the “CFPB has a reasonable process to receive, respond to, and track consumer complaints, “the OIG also disclosed that the CFPB: (1) “plans to accept complaints about additional financial products and services,” and (2) “anticipates that referrals from state agencies will increase as the CFPB begins accepting complaints regarding nonbank products.”
This news should be of concern to financial institutions because it is another clear indication that the CFPB is preparing to extend its enforcement functions into new areas, which will translate into increased regulatory costs. Moreover, any increased collaboration with state regulators is concerning for a number of reasons, the most alarming of which is the as-yet, unresolved issue of whether the CFPB’s sharing of privileged documents would constitute a waiver of the privilege permitting the use of those documents in litigation. Stay tuned to the CFPB-Lawblog for updates and analysis on this developing issue.