On March 26, the CFPB issued three policy statements designed to provide flexibility to banks and financial services companies to allow them to focus on responding to customers in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, in two separate policy statements, the CFPB announced that it is postponing certain industry data collection deadlines. Specifically, the Bureau will not expect quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) and Regulation C, but institutions should continue collecting and recording HMDA data in anticipation of making their annual submission. Similarly, the CFPB will not expect reporting of certain information related to credit card and prepaid accounts under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z and Regulation E.
In those policy statements, the CFPB indicated that it “does not intend to cite in an examination or initiate an enforcement action against any institution” that fails to submit these data according to the established reporting schedules, but added that institutions should continue gathering the required data in anticipation of making future submissions. The Bureau said it would provide more information at a later date about resuming regular reporting.
Second, on the same date, the CFPB issued a “Statement on Bureau Supervisory and Enforcement Response to COVID-19 Pandemic” announcing changes to the Bureau’s supervisory activities to account for operational challenges at regulated entities. The guidance reiterates the CFPB’s prior guidance encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and other customers affected by the COVID-19 crisis to meet their financial needs. The guidance further states that the Bureau will work with financial institutions to schedule examinations and other supervisory activities in a manner that will minimize disruption and burden. The CFPB encourages “prudent efforts undertaken in good faith” that are designed to meet the needs of customers and borrowers. Toward that end, the Bureau will consider the circumstances that entities may face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when conducting examinations, supervisory activities, and in determining whether to take enforcement actions in the future.
The guidance can be found below: