CFPB Eyes Consumer Disclosure Trials

Innovation in consumer disclosures through experimentation encouraged.

February 14, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to encourage innovation in consumer disclosures through experimentation.

In December, the CFPB proposed a policy to allow credit unions, banks, and other financial services companies to test new consumer disclosures on a case-by-case basis.

“As part of our efforts to foster innovation in consumer financial markets, the proposed policy will allow companies to conduct real world trials of disclosure alternatives,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “That will help the Bureau identify what works and does not work to provide consumers with the clear information they need to make financial decisions in a marketplace of evolving programs and products.” 

Under the proposed policy, the CFPB would approve individual companies, on a case-by-case basis, for limited-time exemptions from current federal disclosure laws, allowing those companies to research and test informative, cost-effective disclosures.

The companies involved would then share the results of their trial disclosure with the CFPB. The agency would use that information to improve its disclosure rules and model forms.

When deciding whether to grant a company a waiver from current disclosure requirements, the CFPB’s proposed policy would evaluate the potential impact on a number of factors including:

  • Consumer understanding;
  • Cost effectiveness; and
  • Minimizing consumer risk.

The public will have input through the rulemaking process.

The comment period on the proposed policy ends Feb. 15. For more information, visit

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act authorized the CFPB to facilitate innovation and to approve trial disclosure programs.

As a part of that commitment, the agency launched Project Catalyst last November. Project Catalyst is an initiative designed to encourage consumer-friendly innovation in markets for consumer financial products and services.

Remittance Transfer Rules Under Further Review

Last year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) delayed the effective date of its remittance transfer rule.

The rule amends Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfer Act) to provide new protections to consumers who send remittance transfers to consumers or businesses in foreign countries.

Previously scheduled to take effect Feb. 7, 2013, the CFPB issued a proposal late last year to extend the effective date and address three specific concerns raised by institutions as they struggled to comply with the new requirements.

The proposed effective date would be 90 days after the agency published the final rule in the Federal Register.

In addition, the proposal would:

  • Revise the error resolution provisions that apply when a remittance transfer is not delivered to a designated recipient because the sender provides an incorrect account number and that incorrect account number results in the funds being deposited in the wrong account.
  • Provide additional flexibility regarding the disclosure of foreign taxes, as well as fees imposed by a designated recipient’s institution for receiving a remittance transfer in an account.

  • Limit a remittance transfer provider’s obligation to disclose foreign taxes to those imposed by a country’s central government.

The agency accepted comments on the implementation period and the broader CFPB revisions in January.

For more information, visit CUNA’s e-Guide to Federal Laws and Regulations: Remittance Transfers at You can also learn more about the CFPB at (“Fixing the international remittance rule,” p. 42.)

NCUA Launches New Website For Small CUs

NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) launched a new microsite ( for small credit unions in December.

The site organizes inform-ation for better, easier access to OSCUI’s programs and adds new material including updated grant and loan information, a new consulting program request form, and updated partner profiles.

Credit union visitors can watch OSCUI’s training and informational videos, listen to archived webinars, and read back issues of OSCUI’s monthly FOCUS e-newsletter.

The website also features a section for each of OSCUI’s four program areas: consulting, grants and loans, training, and partnerships and outreach.

NCUA’s OSCUI fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions, and credit unions with a low-income designation.