Andrew Smith advises clients on retail financial services, data protection, advertising and consumer protection, technology, credit reporting, and e-commerce issues. He assists banks, non-bank lenders, technology companies, and their vendors with regulatory compliance, litigation, and transactional matters.

Prior to re-joining the firm, Andrew served as Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he was focused on investigations and enforcement of privacy, data security, financial services, and marketing laws and regulations across a broad range of areas, including fair lending, technology platforms, digital advertising, payments, telemarketing, lead generation, affiliate marketing, consumer reporting, and small business financing. He also oversaw the Bureau’s extensive rulemaking and workshop proceedings, including on endorsement guides, security of financial data, subscription marketing, contact lenses, and children’s privacy. Additionally, he led the FTC’s COVID-19 pandemic-related enforcement and consumer education efforts. In a previous role as Assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC, Andrew led a team of professionals to develop and draft ten rules and six studies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Andrew represents clients before federal and state agencies—particularly the FTC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—in law enforcement and rulemaking proceedings. He regularly advises companies on the requirements of the GLBA, FCRA, DPPA, ECOA, FDCPA, TCPA and TSR, FTC Act, Dodd-Frank Act, and analogous state laws, including state insurance privacy laws and security breach notification requirements.

On August 21, 2017, Keith Noreika, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, sent a letter to Jeb Hensarling, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, stating that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) is not, and never was, a part of Operation Chokepoint, and that Operation Chokepoint is not the policy of the OCC. Acting Comptroller Noreika sent the letter in response to a request from Chairman Hensarling that the OCC issue a formal repudiation of Operation Chokepoint.

In rejecting Operation Chokepoint, Acting Comptroller Noreika wrote that “the agency rejects the targeting of any business operating within state and federal law as well as any intimidation of regulated financial institutions into banking or denying banking services to particular businesses.” Acting Comptroller Noreika also stated that the OCC “expects the banks it supervises to maintain banking relationships with any lawful businesses or customers they choose, so long as they effectively manage any risks related to the resulting transactions and comply with applicable laws and regulations.” 
Continue Reading The OCC Rejects Operation Chokepoint in Letter to Chairman Hensarling

Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a final rule substantially curtailing the ability of financial services providers and consumers to enter into voluntary pre-dispute arbitration clauses.  The final rule, like the proposed rule that preceded it, would i) prevent financial services providers from including arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unless those arbitration

The D.C. Circuit Court’s decision in PHH Corp., et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deals a major blow to the CFPB and represents a victory for financial services industry. Although the Court’s constitutional holding may dominate the headlines, the most significant aspects of the Court’s decision for the industry are the limits on the