CFPB PUBLISHES GUIDANCE ON GUIDANCE

On January 27, 2020 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published, in the Federal Register, a Policy Statement that announces a new designation for certain guidance, known as “Compliance Aids,” and to explain the legal status and role of guidance with that designation. Examples of compliance aids previously released by the CFPB include small entity compliance guides, instructional guides for disclosure forms, executive summaries, summaries of regulation changes, factsheets, flow charts, compliance checklists, frequently asked questions, and summary tables. The designation will be applicable beginning February 1, 2020.

Regulated entities are not required to comply with the Compliance Aids themselves. Regulated entities are only required to comply with the underlying rules and statutes. Compliance Aids are designed to accurately summarize and illustrate the underlying rules and statutes. Accordingly, when exercising its enforcement and supervisory discretion, the CFPB does not intend to sanction, or ask a court to sanction, entities that reasonably rely on Compliance Aids.

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