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CFPB Proposes Policy for Lender-Run Trial Disclosure Programs

A newly proposed policy from the ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) would allow companies to test new consumer disclosures on a case-by-case basis.


The CFPB announced its ""proposal"":http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201212_cfpb_trial_disclosures.pdf as part of its Project Catalyst initiative, which is designed to encourage ""consumer-friendly innovation in markets for consumer financial products and services.""

Under the proposed policy, the CFPB would allow limited-time exemptions from current federal disclosure laws for approved companies. Those companies would use that time to research and test informative, cost-effective [COLUMN_BREAK]

disclosures and share the results of their trial with the bureau, which would use the information to improve its own rules and model forms.

The public will have input through the rulemaking process, the CFPB says.

Approval to conduct trial disclosure programs would be granted on a case-by-case basis. When deciding whether or not to grant a company a waiver from federal disclosure requirements, the CFPB's proposed policy would evaluate several factors, including improvements to consumer understanding, cost effectiveness, and mitigation of consumer risk.

The proposed policy represents the CFPB's ongoing efforts to improve disclosures for consumers. It also builds on the Bureau's initiative to update, modify, or eliminate outdated or unnecessary provisions in inherited regulations.

""As part of our efforts to foster innovation in consumer financial markets, the proposed policy will allow companies to conduct real world trials of disclosure alternatives,"" said Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB. ""That will help the Bureau identify what works and does not work to provide consumers with the clear information they need to make financial decisions in a marketplace of evolving programs and products.""