Following their announcement last July regarding their plans to coordinate on a range of consumer financial protection issues , the CFPB Director and his European counterpart, the Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Protection of the European Commission, have released a joint statement highlighting some areas those coordinated efforts have identified for ongoing monitoring and particular focus. Reiterating their goals of “ensur[ing] that consumers across the Atlantic have their financial data and privacy respected, not surveilled and misused,” keeping consumer financial markets competitive, avoiding fraud, and providing consumers with tools to navigate emerging systems, the joint statement identified three areas where they have had “staff-level sessions” to-date:

  • Buy Now, Pay Later (“BNPL”) & Over-Indebtedness – The European Commission highlighted its most recent study on European consumers’ over-indebtedness and the expected significant increase in over-indebtedness over the next 10 years while also reporting on the expected growth of BNPL products over the coming years. The CFPB shared an overview of the growth of BNPL in the U.S. as well as aggregate borrower demographic data and the applicability of existing statutes;
  • Digital Payment Access – Both organizations addressed the increase in utilization of digital payments and the accompanying risk of fraud, with the CFPB focused on the increasing important role of Big Tech firms, such as Apple and Google, in the digital payment space; and
  • Artificial Intelligence – The European Commission identified recent legislation and regulation designed to address the use of automated decision making and the processing of data in consumer financial services. The CFPB identified existing regulations with applicability to the use of AI in consumer financial services. Both organizations emphasized the importance of bolstering their internal technological expertise.

The CFPB and European Commission have agreed to continue their efforts to coordinate their responses to emerging technologies by convening an annual principal-level meeting and bi-annual staff level meetings on these issues as well as “any other shared priorities that emerge.”