CFPB says proposed ‘disclosure sandbox’ is not just for fintechs

The “disclosure sandbox” the federal financial consumer protection agency proposed in September that it hopes will encourage applications for trial disclosure programs would be not just for fintech companies, but any covered entity, “regardless of its categorization as ‘FinTech,’ ‘bank,’ ‘credit union’ or otherwise,” according to a blog post update Thursday.

The function of the update was to clarify the September blog post on the proposed policy; the agency said the headline for the original blog post on the proposal “suggested that the proposed Disclosure Sandbox would be open only to ‘fintech companies.'”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the proposal in September and took comments on it until Oct. 10. A total of 32 comment letters were received, according to regulations.gov, a portal giving the public access to federal regulatory information.

To briefly recap, the disclosure sandbox was proposed through revisions to the bureau’s existing policy, established in 2013, to encourage trial disclosure programs. In a September blog post the bureau explained that the policy provides that a covered entity conducting a trial disclosure program would be considered in compliance with or exempt from a requirement of a bureau rule or “certain federal laws.”

At the time of the blog post, the bureau said it had yet to approve any trial disclosure programs.

Highlights of the proposed policy are:

  • Streamlining the application and review process to focus on the quality and persuasiveness of the application.
  • Granting or denying applications within 60 days of submission.
  • Establishing an expected two-year time frame for the testing of disclosures.
  • Specifying procedures for permitting companies to continue to use disclosures that test successfully.
  • Coordinating with state regulators so that entities within state “regulatory sandboxes” may be able to participate in the CFPB’s disclosure sandbox without applying separately to the bureau.

CFPB Office of Innovation proposes “disclosure sandbox” for companies to test new ways to inform consumers

Notice of proposed policy guidance; request for comment (Comment period closed)

RR: Bureau claims new ‘sandbox’ will encourage companies to test fresh disclosures (Sept. 14, 2018)

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