Category Archives: Financial Services/CFPB

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FTC Sweep of Consumer Lending Ads

On January 9, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlements with nine automobile dealers relating to the advertising of auto sales and leases, one of the largest actions taken by the FTC against automobile dealers: The settlements included one or more of the following issues related to the advertising of auto financing or … Continue Reading

Social Media Guidance for Financial Institutions

Developing and maintaining a social media presence is seen as a necessary part of business and advertising.  A presence on social media involves not only advertising and running promotions through networking sites, but also becoming an active part of an ongoing dialogue with the ability to respond to customer feedback.  However, communicating in the social … Continue Reading

Money Spent on Marketing Financial Products Beats Financial Education

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently released a study of consumer financial services marketing, which found that it can be difficult for consumers to find objective information.  The study focuses on the size and scope of the financial information field.  The study was commissioned to understand the wide range of information sources consumers could … Continue Reading

Innovative Financial Disclosures

Editor’s Note: Today the CFPB published in the Federal Register details regarding an innovative program for testing online disclosures, and we have dedicated two blog posts written by fellow Venable attorneys to this subject. Do you represent twenty-first century clients that offer consumer financial products or services?  Perhaps their offerings are available online and via mobile.  Or … Continue Reading

Trial Disclosure Program Announced by CFPB Allows In-Market Testing

Readers of this blog know that market testing can be one of the most efficient ways to gauge the viability of an advertising and marketing pitch.  Financial institutions can now take advantage of a program launched by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) that permits companies to market test pre-approved disclosures about consumer financial products. … Continue Reading

Continued CFPB Scrutiny of Credit Card Market; Focus Turns to Disclosures

CFPB Scrutinizes Credit Card DisclosuresThe credit card market continues to be high on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s hit list.  As noted in prior blog posts, the CFPB is focused intently on advertising and marketing of financial products and services.  Because large advertising dollars are spent on credit card marketing, card issuers need to proceed with caution. So far, … Continue Reading

Is the CFPB Going to Meet Joe Black?

As many of you know, we periodically blog about the goings on at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Sometimes referred to as a “superagency,” the CFPB was created by Congress in an effort to consolidate authority over consumer financial transactions from seven agencies to one.  As a result the CFPB has jurisdiction that spans virtually … Continue Reading

The Senate’s Confirmation of Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB and What This Means Going Forward

On July 16, in a bipartisan 66-34 vote, the United States Senate confirmed Richard Cordray to become the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This happened on the eve of the Bureau’s second birthday, July 21, 2013. The Bureau, which was enacted pursuant to the Consumer Financial Protection Act, Title X of the Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading

Picking Up the Tab for Disgorgement

In many advertising cases, the FTC seeks disgorgement as equitable monetary relief.  We previously wrote about the history of and basis under which the FTC seeks that remedy.  Last week, a decision of New York’s highest court may have changed the landscape on whether there is insurance coverage for advertisers faced with FTC disgorgement claims. … Continue Reading

FTC Calls Stakeholders Together for Roundtable on Mobile Cramming

The FTC has taken an increased interest in mobile cramming (the placement of unauthorized third-party charges, such as for ringtones, on consumers’ mobile telephone bills) in the past few months.  Despite industry self-regulation through the Mobile Marketing Association’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices Guidelines, which establish industry-wide standards to protect consumers (such as requiring that consumers … Continue Reading

Dealing with Consumer Complaints

No one likes complaints, being blamed for not meeting expectations, or worse, but the fact is the FTC collects and reports on millions of complaints by consumers.  Last week the FTC issued its 2012 annual report of consumer complaints from its Consumer Sentinel Network, an online database used for tracking complaints.  The FTC received more … Continue Reading

Chasing Rewards with Your Credit Card? NAD Opines on Rewards Programs

After a summer of Chase challenging competitors left and right over credit card rewards ads (see here), Discover decided to fight back.  (Since NAD does not allow counter claims the only recourse for an Advertiser is to file a separate complaint against a Challenger.) Discover said Chase’s campaign falsely disparaged its cash back reward program … Continue Reading

CFPB to Focus on Use of Social Media

Social media use will soon be scrutinized as part of exams of providers of consumer financial products and services by federal and state regulators.  On January 22, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) released a notice and request for comment on proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, … Continue Reading

CFPB and FTC Coordinate on Mortgage Advertising Sweep

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) have targeted mortgage advertising and marketing in a joint “sweep.” Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the CFPB and FTC announced they issued warning letters to mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers advising them to “clean up potentially misleading advertisements, particularly those targeted toward … Continue Reading

What to Expect When You’re Under a CFPB Investigation – Negotiating the Scope of the CID

Expecting a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) examination?  Think again.  The first time you might hear from the CFPB is during an investigation.  The CFPB has investigations underway that span the full breadth of the Bureau’s enforcement authority over providers of financial products and services and their vendors.  The CFPB has authority over large banks … Continue Reading

O Say Can You See…That New Jersey Has Finally Amended Its Gift Card Laws?

With the nation just having celebrated its 236th birthday, you probably still  have gifts on your mind. Great news—at least for now, you can pick up a gift card in New Jersey without giving up any personal information. As we noted in an entry earlier this Spring, a few prominent gift card sellers, including InComm, pulled … Continue Reading

CFPB Examinations: It Would Be The CFPB’s Privilege To Receive Privileged Information

A number of entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”), lawyers and the American Bar Association have expressed concern that providing privileged information to Bureau supervisory personnel could waive the entities’ privilege with respect to third parties. On Friday, June 29, 2012 the Bureau issued a final rule on confidential treatment … Continue Reading

CFPB Launches Rulemaking On General Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on May 23, 2012 announced that it is asking for comments about general purpose reloadable prepaid cards (“GPR Cards”) through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”). The Bureau intends to issue a proposal to extend consumer protections provided under Regulation E to GPR Cards. Regulation E implements the Electronic … Continue Reading

FTC Holds Workshop on Mobile Payments

Last week the FTC hosted “Paper, Plastic … or Mobile? An FTC Workshop on Mobile Payments,” to examine the use of mobile payments in the marketplace and how emerging technologies affect consumers. The workshop lasted throughout the day, consisting of presentations and panels with representatives from business, law, finance, and consumer advocacy organizations. At the … Continue Reading

Consumer Financial Companies May Not Be Able to Avoid Class Actions with Binding Arbitration Clauses Soon: CFPB Investigating

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau) has started a process that could lead to the eventual unraveling of recent Supreme Court decisions that have upheld consumer arbitration in class-action lawsuits for consumer financial products and services. The Bureau has launched a public inquiry into how consumers and financial services companies are affected by … Continue Reading

CFPB Warns of Service Provider Scrutiny

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) published a bulletin clarifying that it “expects supervised banks and nonbanks to oversee their business relationships with service providers in a manner that ensures compliance with Federal consumer financial law” on April 13, 2012. This bulletin signals that the Bureau is focusing its supervision and enforcement efforts on … Continue Reading