Bureau regulatory agenda mute on overdraft programs – for now

Feb. 4, 2022  — The phrase “overdraft protection” does not appear in the “semiannual regulatory agenda” published this week by the CFPB in the Federal Register. But there may be more to come on that, in future, on that and other issues.

According to the agenda filed by the bureau, it expects that its new director – Rohit Chopra, confirmed last fall by the Senate – “will assess what regulatory actions the Bureau should prioritize to best further its consumer protection mission and that the Spring 2022 Agenda will reflect his priorities.”

Recently, Chopra has signaled that the agency is looking closely at overdraft programs. In December, the agency released a statement that three of the nation’s largest banks brought in more than two of every five dollars charged in overdraft fees in 2019, while smaller financial institutions – which charged less on average – were also heavily reliant on the fee income from the programs. In a statement, Chopra said then the bureau would be taking action “to restore meaningful competition to this market.”

However, he gave no timing for the action.

In the meantime, apparently, the bureau is continuing to work on other issues that may emerge in 2022 as rulemakings. Among them, according to the semiannual regulatory agenda published by the agency:

  • Public availability from financial institutions of certain information from credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.
  • Addressing the availability of consumer financial account data in electronic form.
  • Certain regulations relating to “Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) financing (a tool for consumers to finance certain improvements to residential real property).
  • Quality controls for automated valuation models (AVMs), with other federal financial institution regulators
  • Closing out its rulemaking over the discontinuation of LIBOR, in particular by helping “to ensure that any changes to an index underlying [certain] loans (including home equity, student, reserve mortgages and others) as a result of the transition to a different index due to the discontinuation of LIBOR are done by industry in an orderly, transparent, and fair manner.”


CFPB Semiannual Regulatory Agenda