Bureau finally begins rulemaking on consumer access to financial records

Making good on its promise in July (and following up on a symposium in February), the federal consumer financial protection agency Thursday said it is seeking information from the public on the best way to go about developing a rule on consumer access to financial records.

In a release, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on consumer access to financial records to fulfill its obligations under provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). The proposal’s summary states that the provision (section 1033) provides that the agency will issue rules prescribing that a consumer financial services provider make available to a consumer information in the control or possession of the provider concerning the consumer financial product or service that the consumer obtained from the provider.

CFPB said the ANPR seeks comments and information on costs and benefits of consumer data access, competitive incentives, standard-setting, access scope, consumer control and privacy, and data security and accuracy. A 90-day comment period is planned.

“When consumers use financial products and services, the providers of those products and services generally accumulate data about those consumers and their use of those products and services,” the bureau said in its release. “Consumer access to these data allow consumers to manage their financial accounts and can enhance consumers’ control of their financial matters.”

In late February, the bureau sponsored a symposium on the law’s requirement for consumer records access rules. The event featured panels discussing benefits and risks of consumer-authorized data access, as well as developments in the area of records access.

In July, the bureau gave a sort of “heads up” that the ANPR was coming, saying that the call for information would help the agency understand and address “competing perspectives.”

The bureau also released a report in July on the outcome of its symposium, which cited some of those perspectives. Among them: fintechs and some others recommended that the agency should “prescribe a right for consumers and permissioned third parties to access their data relying on the authority” of Dodd-Frank; and banks and others urged a larger participant rule for the data aggregation market under Dodd-Frank in order for the agency to “establish its supervisory authority over larger participants in this market.”

CFPB ANPR: Consumer Access to Financial Records