The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Wednesday issued an advisory opinion that banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets must provide consumers with account information in a timely manner. The guidance is the first issued on section 1034(c) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
“Credit unions regularly process account information requests from members as part of their normal course of business, including the very same type of requests covered by Section 1034(c) . As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions have a people-first philosophy that prioritizes working with our members to address their financial needs at little to no cost,” said Jason Stverak, deputy chief advocacy officer for federal government affairs for CUNA. “We have significant concern with the CFPB’s repeated attempts to insert itself between credit unions and their members, and would strongly oppose the Bureau imposing obligations on covered financial institutions beyond what was intended by Congress.”
The guidance outlines the CFPB’s expansive definitions of the following:
It also interprets the charging of a fee to request account information as “likely to unreasonably impede” the consumers’ ability to exercise their rights under 1034(c) and, in turn, violate the provision.
Most credit unions do not charge fees for these types of requests, but credit unions covered by section 1034(c) will likely need to review policies based on the guidance.
CUNA filed comments with the CFPB in August 2022, noting concerns with the CFPB’s interpretation that section 1034(c) authorizes it to “get in the middle of customer-financial institution relationships and set explicit standards for ‘customer service.’”