CFPB Introduces New Category of Compliance Guide


The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) issued a policy statement to announce a new category of CFPB guidance, known as ''Compliance Aids''. 

The CFPB has always provided guidance to industry and other stakeholders via a variety of means.  For example, CFPB compliance resources includes small entity compliance guides, instructional guides for disclosure forms, executive summaries, summaries of regulation changes, factsheets, flow charts, compliance checklists, frequently asked questions, and summary tables.

The CFPB is now introducing a new category of materials similar to previous compliance resources but to be designated as ''Compliance Aids.''  Note that Compliance Aids are not rules or official interpretations and are therefore not binding, and regulated entities are only required to comply with the underlying rules and statutes.  Instead, the Compliance Aids "present the requirements of existing rules and statutes in a manner that is useful for compliance professionals, other industry stakeholders, and the public" and may include "practical suggestions for how entities might choose to go about complying with those rules and statutes. "

In the scenario where applicable rules and statutes allow multiple methods of compliance, an entity can make a business decision regarding which method to use, even if that method is not specifically addressed in a Compliance Aid, and still be considered in compliance.  

To summarize, the Compliance Aids are designed to "accurately summarize and illustrate the underlying rules and statutes."  The CFPB stated that "when exercising its enforcement and supervisory discretion [it] does not intend to sanction, or ask a court to sanction, entities that reasonably rely on Compliance Aids."

This policy statement, which becomes applicable on Feb. 1, 2020, can be found here.

Source: CUNA’s Compliance Blog. Jan. 28, 2020 

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