CFPB Outlines Plan to Review Regulatory Flexibility Act Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday published a notice on how it plans to periodically review regulations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and to request public input.

Additionally, the Bureau published a notice requesting public input as part of its first RFA review examining the 2009 Overdraft Rule.

The notices mark the third major Bureau announcements in the past several weeks of proposed changes to its policies and procedures. Last year the Bureau issued more than a dozen Requests for Information on its policies, ranging from enforcement processes, supervision policies, consumer complaint reporting and rulemaking authorities. In April, the Bureau announced changes to its Civil Investigative Demands processes; last week, it proposed updates to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In its latest notice (, the Bureau said it intends to comply with Section 610 of the RFA, in which Congress specifies agencies review certain rules within 10 years of their publication and consider the rules’ effect on small businesses. It noted the purpose of the review is to “minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of small entities, consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes.”

Following each review, the Bureau said it will determine whether the rule should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded. The RFA requires each agency to invite public comment on each rule undergoing review and to consider specific factors, including:

–The continued need for the rule;
–The nature of public complaints or comments on the rule;
–The complexity of the rule;
–The extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with federal, state, or other rules; and
–The time since the rule was evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed the relevant market.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the CFPB’s plan after publication in the Federal Register.

The CFPB also announced ( its first RFA 610 review, which is of the 2009 Overdraft Rule.

The rule, which in 2009 was under purview of the Federal Reserve Board, limits the ability of financial institutions to assess overdraft fees for paying automated teller machine and one-time debit card transactions that overdraw consumers’ accounts. The Bureau established a 45-day comment period.