The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has asked consumers for their input on difficulties accessing, using, and securely sharing their financial records. The bureau also wants to know how much choice consumers have over the use of their records, how secure it is for them to share their records, and the amount of control they have over their records.
The CFPB said its goal is to foster an environment where competing providers can securely obtain, with the consumer’s permission, the information needed to deliver innovative products and services that will benefit consumers.
“The technology around digital financial records continues to develop, and so far there are many unanswered questions about how the information is being shared, by and to whom, and how safely,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in prepared remarks for a field hearing on consumer access to financial records. “As with any emerging industry, we are hearing about some bumps in the road. Both FinTech companies and financial institutions, as well as consumer groups, are describing to us the various challenges, risks, and technological obstacles to further progress in this area.”
Request for information. The bureau is seeking public comment through a Request for Information to better understand the consumer benefits and risks associated with market developments that rely on access to consumer financial account and account-related information. Specifically, the CFPB is seeking information from consumers on:
- whether consumers are being given appropriate opportunities to access and allow others to securely access their personal financial records and what business burdens must be addressed to facilitate access and use of financial records;
- what options consumers are given for ensuring that financial records are securely obtained, stored, and used; and
- what information consumers are given about how their records will be accessed and used and to what extent consumers are able to control how the information will be used by companies.
Blog post. In a post to its blog, the bureau asked consumers to share their stories on difficulties they face when accessing and sharing their financial records with other financial companies. If consumers are using products or services that access their financial records stored by another company, the CFPB wants to know about their experiences. Consumers can comment on Facebook or Twitter, but those who want to provide more details can share their stories via the bureau’s website.
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