On February 18, 2016, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a policy, first proposed in October 2014, establishing a process for companies to apply for a no-action letter from CFPB staff that would reduce regulatory uncertainty for a new product or service that offers the potential for significant consumer-friendly innovation. This letter would indicate that CFPB staff reviewed the company’s application and have no present intention to recommend enforcement or supervisory action with respect to the particular aspects of the company’s product under the specifically-identified provisions and applications of statutes or regulations that are the subject of the no-action letter.
The new policy was created as part of the CFPB’s Project Catalyst initiative, which was designed to encourage consumer-friendly developments in markets for consumer financial products and services. The CFPB views this initiative as an important aspect of fulfilling its mandate under the Dodd-Frank Act to provide all consumers access to fair, transparent, effective, and innovative markets. The policy also builds on a trial disclosure waiver policy issued by the CFPB in 2013, which allows financial services providers to take advantage of new technologies in designing and testing improved alternative federal consumer disclosures.
The CFTC press release is available at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-finalizes-policy-to-facilitate-consumerfriendly-innovation/.
The policy is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_no-action-letter-policy.pdf.
More information about Project Catalyst is available at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/projectcatalyst/ and the trial disclosure waiver policy is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201310_cfpb_1032e-trial-disclosure-policy.pdf.