CFPB Proposes Amendments to Confidentiality and Disclosure Rules: CFPB Proposes Amendments to Rules Governing Disclosure of Confidential Information

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - September 15, 2016

On August 24, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) announced proposed amendments to its rules governing the disclosure by the CFPB, supervised financial institutions and others of “Confidential information,” including confidential supervisory information, confidential consumer complaint information, confidential investigative information, and other information exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  The Bureau’s proposed rule amendments modify the scope and coverage of the confidentiality requirements and alter circumstances in which disclosures of confidential information by the CFPB and others are permissible.  While many of the amendments are clarifications of existing standards or technical drafting changes, there are several proposed modifications that would expand the CFPB’s authority to disclose confidential information to agencies that are not prudential supervisors and to certain non-governmental parties (such as state bar associations).  The proposal also includes a new provision making it a regulatory violation if a financial institution does not report an unauthorized disclosure of confidential CFPB information.