CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Seeks Advice On Financial Data Access

The nation’s consumer protection agency is seeking input on rule changes to third-party access to individual financial records.

The announcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) comes on the heels of a symposium it held in February which included experts from consumer groups, financial technology (FinTech) companies, trade groups, banks and data aggregators.

Its purpose was to review the agency’s handling of authorized third-party access to consumer’s financial data. CFPB’s approach has been to identify and promote consumer interests in terms of access, security and privacy and allow the market to develop without direct regulatory intervention.

The agency is seeking information that will help it address competing perspectives, including how it might implement financial access rights described in the Dodd-Frank Act.

Congress created the legislation in 2010 that created the CFPB. Its mission is to help ensure consumers have access to and the ability to leverage the data in their records. Since then, the availability of the information made available to financial institutions, data aggregators and FinTechs using consumer-authorized access to provide new products and services to millions of Americans has grown.

The initiative will also gather information about the scope of data that might be subjected to protection, such as those relating to security, privacy, consumer control over access to data and accountability for errors and unauthorized access.

In addition, the CFPB will inquire whether issues of regulatory uncertainty stemming from Dodd-Frank, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, may be hurting consumers — and if so, seek ways to fix it.

By loosening the rules earlier this year, the CFPB made it easier for people to access stimulus CARES Act funds by removing some of the legal barriers barring financial institutions from issuing the payments through prepaid accounts. Before that change, banks and government agencies were unable to get direct deposits into taxpayer accounts.

Last week, PYMNTS reported Google collaborated with the CFPB to launch a mobile experience in Google Search on home buying.

When users search “mortgage,” they will find a feature that explains the mortgage process in easy-to-follow steps, wherever they may be in the process. In addition, it will connect mobile users to resources, including mortgage rates, news stories, industry definitions and terms.

Also in July, the CFPB recorded record-high numbers of complaints since the pandemic hit in mid-March. Complaints are up 50 percent compared to the same time last year, March to June 2019.

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