CFPB Announces Settlement Regarding the 2019 Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has settled a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Professor Kathleen Engel. The lawsuit alleged that the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law did not comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
FACA is a “sunshine” law that seeks to ensure that there is adequate transparency into agency advisory committees. When enacting FACA in 1972, Congress was concerned that special interest groups might use their committee membership to advance their private financial concerns.
In October 2019, the CFPB chartered the Taskforce to provide recommendations to improve consumer financial laws and regulations. On January 5, 2021, the Taskforce released its report and recommendations.
On November 29, 2021, the CFPB entered into a stipulated settlement agreement that required, among other corrective actions, the CFPB to release to the plaintiffs by March 22, 2022, all Taskforce records that would have been made public if the CFPB had complied with FACA’s requirements. These records will also be made publicly available on the CFPB’s website. Additionally, the CFPB has amended the Taskforce’s report to include a disclaimer noting that the CFPB failed to comply with FACA and that the report should not be relied upon as a “product of a FACA-compliant federal advisory committee.”
In announcing the settlement, the CFPB expresses its commitment to ensuring compliance with advisory committee sunshine laws. For more information, please visit the CFPB’s webpage on its open government activities.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that implements and enforces Federal consumer financial law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.
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