Request for Information

On March 26, 2018, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”) filed a comment in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Request for Information on the procedures for issuing Civil Investigative Demands.

In large part, the comment summarizes the BCP’s experience with its own CID program and highlights the BCP’s recent reform efforts. However, the FTC staff comment also provides recommendations to the CFPB, several of which are summarized here:

  • The comment notes that the CFPB Director, Assistant Director, and Deputy Assistant Directors of the Office of Enforcement all have the authority to issue CIDs, whereas this authority at the FTC is limited by statute to the FTC Commissioners themselves, who review and often modify CIDs or even decline to issue them. FTC staff suggest that review by a “very senior official” is appropriate because of the seriousness of a CID and that the CFPB may wish to consider revising its delegation of authority accordingly. Moreover, the comment emphasizes that agency-head approval “ensures that there will be an independent assessment of the costs and benefits of the CID by someone who is not conducting the investigation.”
  • FTC staff also recommend applying an oversight approach to opening and closing investigations that is more consistent with the FTC’s. The heads of both agencies delegate the authority to initiate investigations. At the FTC this delegation includes delegation to managers in the BCP, led by the BCP Director. The comment notes that the BCP Director meets “regularly” with the Commissioners to maintain a close understanding of their enforcement priorities and objectives. In turn, the BCP Director must ensure that the other BCP managers make decisions about opening, furthering, or closing investigations consistent with those priorities and objectives.
  • The comment suggests that the CFPB use its response to the RFI to publicly “ratify” the agency’s recently adopted policy that CIDs include a more specific description of the relevant investigation and how the requested information is connected to that investigation. The comment notes that the CFPB’s new policy brings it in line with FTC practice.
  • FTC staff also suggest that the CFPB pair its meet-and-confer requirement with delegated authority to enforcement staff allowing the staff to modify the time and manner of complying with a CID, contingent on a CID recipient demonstrating progress toward compliance with the information demands.
  • The BCP staff also recommend that the CFPB shorten and simplify the production requirements for electronically stored information. The comment notes that the BCP’s guidelines are “significantly shorter and less complex.”


Continue Reading FTC Files Comments with CFPB on CID Processes

On March 28, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) regarding the effectiveness and accessibility of its guidance materials and activities, including implementation support.  Specifically, the RFI asks for information about the following aspects of the CFPB’s methods of providing guidance to the public:

  • Regulatory Inquiries Function: This function

On February 21, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s public and non-public external engagements, including but not limited to field hearings, town halls, roundtables, and meetings of the Advisory Board and Councils.  The Bureau intends

On February 7, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s enforcement processes. The RFI seeks public input on “how best to achieve meaningful burden reduction or other improvement” to the Bureau’s enforcement processes “while continuing to meet the Bureau’s statutory

On January 31, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s use of administrative adjudications.  The Bureau intends to use the comments received to inform deliberations as to whether and how to revise and update the Bureau’s Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings.  This RFI is the second installment in a call for evidence to reexamine CFPB activities to “ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.”  Acting Director Mick Mulvaney initiated this effort to reevaluate, and potentially adjust, how the Bureau performs its functions.

In the RFI, the Bureau notes that it is “especially interested” in receiving suggestions on the following topics:

  • Methods for updating, streamlining, or revising the Bureau’s administrative adjudication Rules and processes to better achieve the Bureau’s statutory objectives;
  • Methods of minimizing burdens, impacts, or costs to parties subject to the proceedings;
  • Methods for aligning the Bureau’s administrative adjudication Rules more closely with those of other agencies; and
  • Methods for better providing fair and efficient process to parties involved in adjudication proceedings, including ensuring those parties have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence and arguments relating to the proceeding.

The Bureau, however, invites feedback on all aspects of the administrative adjudication process.

Continue Reading CFPB Issues Request for Information on Administrative Adjudications