The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has adopted a new policy on certain non-public communications to the CFPB during the rule making process.  The policy refers to these as “ex-parte” communications.  According to the policy:

  • A person who makes an oral ex parte presentation to CFPB decision-making personnel shall, not later than three business days after the presentation, file to the rulemaking docket for the proceeding and submit to the CFPB’s Executive Secretary and all CFPB employees to whom the presentation was made, a memorandum summarizing the presentation.
  • A person who makes a written ex parte presentation to CFPB decision-making personnel (including documents shown or given to decision-making personnel during oral ex parte presentations) shall, not later than three business days after the presentation, file to the rulemaking docket for the proceeding and submit to the CFPB’s Executive Secretary and all CFPB employees to whom the presentation was made a copy of the presentation.

Thankfully, there is a little bit of flex in the CFPB policy.  Ex parte presentations do not include the following:

  • Statements by any person made in a public meeting, hearing, conference, or similar event, or public medium such as a newspaper, magazine, or blog;
  • Communications that are inadvertently or casually made;
  • Inquiries limited to the status of a rulemaking or concerning compliance with procedural requirements; or
  • Communications that occur as part of the CFPB’s regular supervisory, monitoring, research, and/or other statutory responsibilities, which communications are only incidentally relevant to, and not intended to influence the outcome of, a rulemaking proceeding.

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