On February 16, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) launched a new initiative, dubbed the Streamlining Regulations Feedback Web Tool.
According to the Bureau, the tool will enable the public and financial institutions alike to more easily submit suggestions for streamlining regulations that the CFPB received from other Federal agencies on July 21, 2011, which the Bureau calls inherited regulations.
In effect, the Bureau is seeking comments and suggestions about existing regulations. The goal is to identify provisions of the regulations that the CFPB should make the "highest priority" for updating, modifying, or eliminating because they are outdated, unduly burdensome, or unnecessary.
The purpose of the Feedback Tool is to create one means by which the agency may consider ways to reduce the burdens imposed by existing regulations without reducing actual financial protection to consumers.
This newsletter provides a general outline of the ways and means by which the CFPB will use the information derived from the Feedback Tool, other sources, and an overview of the Federal Register Notice of Streamlining Project of December 5, 2011.
Proposal in the Federal Register
Potential Streamlining Opportunities
Streamlining Regulations Feedback Web Tool
Proposal in the Federal Register
On December 5, 2011, the CFPB published in the Federal Register its proposal to streamline regulations it recently inherited from other Federal agencies. The Bureau indicated that it would ask the public to identify provisions of the inherited regulations that the Bureau should make the highest priority for updating, modifying, or eliminating because they are outdated, unduly burdensome, or unnecessary. Comments on the proposal must be submitted by March 5, 2012 and commenters will have 30 additional days (until April 3, 2012) to respond to other comments.
The proposal itself provided several specific requirements that the CFPB believes may warrant review.
For the next year the Bureau is focusing most of its rulemaking resources various mortgage reforms that Congress instructed the Bureau to implement. This focus is dictated by the January 2013 statutory deadline for most of these rules.
After the Bureau receives public input and determines its priorities, the Bureau will consider whether to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to streamline specific provisions of regulations.
The CFPB will focus on a particular regulation or set of regulations. It will also focus on a market sector and all of the regulations that apply to that sector. The Bureau states that it is interested in "identifying practical measures it can take, apart from revising regulations, to make compliance with the inherited regulations easier." It is also interested in identifying practical measures to be taken to promote, or remove obstacles to, responsible innovation in consumer financial services markets.
The Bureau announced that it will also consider practical measures to make it easier for firms, especially smaller ones, to comply with the inherited regulations.
Suggestions CriteriaCommenters may consider suggesting provisions of regulations that should be:
- Simplified, rationalized, or consolidated;
- Relaxed, modified, or eliminated, perhaps for smaller firms or certain classes of transactions, without undermining essential protections;
- Updated to reflect current practices and technology;
- Adjusted to avoid unintended consequences; or