The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week it intends to establish a new category of materials that are similar to previous compliance materials but will now be designated “Compliance Aids.” According to the CFPB, this designation will provide the public with greater clarity regarding the legal status and role of the materials released.
Currently the CFPB issues resources under such designation as: 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.
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.
Rather, Compliance Aids will present requirements of existing rules and statutes in a manner that is useful for compliance professionals, other industry stakeholders and the public. They may also include practical suggestions for how entities might choose to go about complying with those rules and statutes, but may not address all situations.
According to the policy statement, where there are multiple methods of compliance that are permitted by the applicable rules and statutes, an entity can make its own business decision regarding which method to use, and this may include a method that is not specifically addressed in a Compliance Aid.
The policy statement is effective as of Feb. 1.