On January 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) announced that it is soliciting public input “to ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” During the coming weeks, the CFPB will be publishing in the Federal Register a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) seeking comment on the Bureau’s enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities. According to the CFPB, these RFIs “will provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities”

“In this New Year, and under new leadership, it is natural for the Bureau to critically examine its policies and practices to ensure they align with the Bureau’s statutory mandate. Moving forward, the Bureau will consistently seek out constructive feedback and welcome ideas for improvement,” stated CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. “Much can be done to facilitate greater consumer choice and efficient markets, while vigorously enforcing consumer financial law in a way that guarantees due process. I look forward to receiving public comments in response to this call for evidence and encourage all interested parties to participate.”

The CFPB states that its first RFI will seek public comment on Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs), which are issued during an enforcement investigation, and that comments received in response to this RFI will help the Bureau evaluate existing CID processes and procedures, and to determine whether any changes are warranted.

This announcement follows a series of actions taken by the CFPB in recent weeks that demonstrate the influence of the new leadership. When Mulvaney assumed the role of acting director after Thanksgiving, he imposed a temporary hiring freeze and a freeze on all new regulations and guidance for 30 days, along with a separate freeze on civil penalty payments. On January 16, the CFPB announced that it intends to engage in a rulemaking process for purposes of reconsideration of the Payday Rule, which was finalized in October 2017. In a similar fashion, the CFPB announced last month that it intends to engage in a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule such as the institutional and transactional coverage tests and the rule’s discretionary data points. We also expect the CFPB to issue a final rule amending certain aspects of its 2016 rule governing prepaid accounts soon.

Stay tuned for further updates and developments!