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CFPB Finalizes Policy to Facilitate Consumer-Friendly Innovation
Friday, February 19, 2016 6:40 AM

Bureau Publishes Policy to Reduce Potential Regulatory Uncertainty for Innovative Products that Promise Significant Consumer Benefits

Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a policy to facilitate consumer access to financial products and services that promise substantial benefit to consumers. The new policy establishes a process for companies to apply for a statement from Bureau staff that would reduce regulatory uncertainty for a new product or service that offers the potential for significant consumer-friendly innovation.

“This new policy is designed to improve access to consumer financial products and services that promise substantial consumer benefits,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We want to foster a consumer financial marketplace where companies develop safe, innovative products and approaches that can help make people’s lives better.”

View policy.

In addition to the CFPB’s work to hold bad actors accountable, the Bureau’s Project Catalyst initiative is working to facilitate marketplace innovation so that new and emerging products that are safe and beneficial for consumers can be developed.

The new policy was created as part of CFPB’s Project Catalyst initiative and is intended to enhance regulatory compliance in specific circumstances where a product holds the promise for significant consumer benefit and where there may be uncertainty around how the product fits within an existing regulatory scheme. For example, the policy could be appropriate in a case where an innovative product is being developed that involves technology that did not exist and may not have been contemplated at the time existing regulations were adopted. 

The Bureau’s Project Catalyst initiative is designed to encourage consumer-friendly developments in markets for consumer financial products and services. The Bureau views this initiative as an important aspect of fulfilling its mandate under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to provide all consumers access to fair, transparent, effective, and innovative markets.

More information about Project Catalyst.