CFPB to propose rules for how companies access customer data

Register now

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to propose clearer standards on how fintech firms access consumers' financial account information, the agency said Friday.

The bureau said it will release an advance notice of proposed rulemaking later this year that could prompt further inquiry into whether market participants — including banks, fintechs and data aggregators — are acting in consumers' interest when it comes to accessing data.

The proposal is likely to draw enormous interest from both banks, which have at times been leery of app providers grabbing data, and the fintech firms themselves that rely on consumers’ ability to access their account information.

The proposal will focus, in part, on whether some emerging market practices among fintechs and data aggregators “may not reflect the access rights” described in the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB said. The proposal also could examine whether “regulatory uncertainty” may be affecting the market “to the potential detriment of consumers.”

The CFPB said it will release an advance notice of proposed rulemaking later this year that could prompt further inquiry into whether market participants are acting in consumers' interest when it comes to accessing data.

The CFPB is required under Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act to ensure that consumers have access to their own financial data in electronic form and the ability “to leverage the data in their records.”

The bureau said the proposal will seek public input on how to “effectively and efficiently” implement the financial access rights in Section 1033.

The rulemaking notice will seek feedback on how much data should be considered "protected" in order to protect consumers' privacy and security.

The agency's proposal is also expected to address issues of "regulatory uncertainty with respect to Section 1033” and how it interacts with other statutes, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the CFPB said.

The CFPB said its approach has largely been in identifying and promoting consumer interests and in allowing the market to develop “without direct regulatory intervention.”

The bureau also issued a 10-page summary of a symposium held in February that addressed various perspectives on consumer-authorized access to financial data.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.