December 02, 2020

CFPB approves 2 AOs after finalizing policy

CFPBThe CFPB Monday finalized its advisory opinions (AO) policy and announced two approved AOs that will be publicly available on the bureau's website and published in the Federal Register. NAFCU asked for AOs to be made publicly available to ensure they are easily accessible following the launch of a pilot AO program.

“Under the final policy, entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements can submit a request to the Bureau where uncertainty exists,” wrote the bureau in a release. “Regulatory certainty promotes compliance if the law applies and avoids unnecessary compliance costs if the law does not.”

NAFCU previously offered the association's support for the AO program as it would “provide credit unions with critical, timely guidance, enabling them to serve their members with confidence."

In the letter, the association recommended the bureau obtain feedback about the unexpected consequences of opinions on credit unions – as credit unions' unique structures are sometimes not fully understood or considered when establishing guidance for other financial institutions. In Monday’s release, the CFPB adopted an email for submitting feedback on opinions. Clarification or reconsideration can be requested at

The two approved AOs are related to private student lending and earned wage access programs.

NAFCU will remain in close contact with the bureau, NCUA and other regulatory agencies to advocate for proper clarification and regulatory certainty for credit unions.