The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued its Ombudsman's Office Mid-year Update of the agency's activities for the first six months of FY2020. Through the Mid-year Update, the CFPB has unveiled its plans to conduct post-examination surveys of CFPB-supervised entities. It also highlights the CFPB's efforts to reach a broader spectrum of consumers, including translating its blog posts into other languages and holding cross-Bureau discussions to assist people with disabilities. The CFPB also plans on continuing its Ombudsman Forum program, focusing on the following areas: Connecting In; Engagement; Guidance – Regulations and Compliance; Website and Digital Access; and Coordination with Government Entities.
Notably, the CFPB announced that its review of complaints submitted by small businesses regarding lending discrimination will be included in its FY2020 Annual Report. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFPB encouraged consumers to submit complaints about financial products or services after attempting to contact the company directly. Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Bureau began soliciting complaints from small businesses, particularly in connection with potential discriminatory practices connected with the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Based on its review, the CFPB may look to establishing additional programs and processes to continue its conversation with small businesses.
Venable continues to monitor developments from the CFPB.