CFPB ending no-action-letter, sandbox policies

Sep. 27, 2022

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is allowing its ICBA-supported policies on no-action letters and compliance assistance sandboxes to expire, cementing the agency’s transition away from Office of Innovation programs.

Policy Expiration: In a new Federal Register notice, the CFPB said the policies—which provided approved companies with a regulatory safe harbor to test their products—will expire this Friday, Sept. 30. The agency said the policies do not advance their stated objective of facilitating consumer-beneficial innovation and failed to meet appropriate standards for transparency and stakeholder participation.

Change in Direction: The CFPB said it is developing new approaches to facilitate the development of new products and services. The programs’ expiration follows the CFPB’s launch earlier this year of a new Office of Competition and Innovation to replace its Office of Innovation, which operated the no-action-letter and sandbox approaches.

ICBA Position: ICBA supported the CFPB’s no-action-letter and sandbox policies because they provided a framework that fostered innovation while supporting consistent regulatory oversight. In a comment letter last month, ICBA said it supports a no-action-letter process at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to enable transparent dialogue and support regulatory clarity.