CFPB formalizes “Compliance Aids” policy
On January 27, the CFPB published a policy statement announcing a new designation for certain guidance material. The non-binding “Compliance Aids” are intended to assist financial institutions when complying with laws and regulations, but are not rules, and are therefore exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice and comment rulemaking requirements. According to the Bureau, while the Compliance Aids may include practical suggestions for entities, the Bureau notes that “[w]here there are multiple methods of compliance that are permitted by the applicable rules and statutes, an entity can make its own business decision regarding which method to use, and this may include a method that is not specifically addressed in a Compliance Aid. In sum, regulated entities are not required to comply with the Compliance Aids themselves. Regulated entities are only required to comply with the underlying rules and statutes.” The policy statement is effective February 1.