Open Banking: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Craft Rules on Access to Financial Records


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced its intent to issue an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” (ANPR) this year on consumer-authorized access to financial records. The rulemaking will impact both traditional financial service firms as well as Fintechs and falls along the lines of the concept of Open Banking.

The announcement follows a symposium the CFPB held earlier this year on the topic, which included representatives from consumer groups, Fintechs, trade associations, financial institutions, and data aggregators, according to the CFPB.

The affiliated report, embedded below, states that the CFPB has “consistently noted that consumer’s ability to access their financial records in electronic form empowers them to better monitor their finances and that their ability to permission a third party to access those records may enable consumer-friendly innovation in financial services.”

The ANPR is said to seek information that will help the Bureau understand and address competing perspectives.

According to the CFPB, the ANPR will allow them to:

  • Solicit stakeholder input on ways that the Bureau might effectively and efficiently implement the financial access rights described in Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Different market participants have helped authorized data access become more secure, effective, and subject to consumer control. The Bureau expects these trends to continue, but also sees indications that some emerging market practices may not reflect the access rights described in Section 1033.
  • Seek information regarding the possible scope of data that might be made subject to protected access as well as information that might bear on other terms of access, such as those relating to security, privacy, effective consumer control over access and accessed data, and accountability for data errors and unauthorized access.
  • Inquire into whether—and if so, how—issues of regulatory uncertainty with respect to Section 1033 and its interaction with other statutes within the Bureau’s jurisdiction, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, may be impacting this market to the potential detriment of consumers; and seek information that may help resolve such uncertainty.

Participants in the report are said to have generally agreed that “consumers should have control over the data they permission, with a focus on consumers’ ability to monitor and regulate data flows, revoke access, and request retroactive deletion of data.”

The CFPB notes that in 2010 Congress authorized the Bureau to help ensure that consumers have access to and the ability to leverage the data in their records.

The CFPB states that since that time the extent to which financial institutions, data aggregators, and Fintechs are using consumer-authorized access to provide new products and services to millions of American consumers has grown in scope and scale.

In a recent article, a representative of Plaid, a top Open Banking Fintech, shared their view that Europe and the UK are 5 years ahead on Open Banking as a regulatory scheme, but the US is 5 years ahead on open banking as a reality.

After a few bumpy years during which the federal agency focused more on politics, the CFPB appears to have gained its sea legs under the leadership of Kathy Kraninger who was sworn in as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the end of 2018.


cfpb symposium-consumer-access-financial-records_report July 2020


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