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Ben Olson Quoted in Law360 Article, "CFPB's No-Action Letters to Provide Little Reassurance"

Benjamin K. Olson

Ben Olson was quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article, "CFPB's No-Action Letters to Provide Little Reassurance," on February 22, 2016. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new policy for providing no-action letters showed a limited willingness to let companies gauge how new technologies conform with existing law and regulations in advance of approval, but critics say the bureau did not go far enough.

The CFPB’s no-action letters give developers of new consumer financial technologies the chance to submit their products to the bureau for a regulatory review. If the CFPB determines that the new products meet existing regulatory standards, companies would have the chance to release them to the public with some assurance that they will not face an immediate enforcement action.

But it is unlikely that big firms in existing product lines would open themselves up to unnecessary CFPB scrutiny, said Benjamin Olson, a partner at Buckley Sandler LLP.

"It would be better to have something that promotes innovation and provides greater certainty about existing practices,” said Olson, who is a former top CFPB official. “Of course, for existing practices, the dilemma would be, if you go into the bureau with materials about your existing practice and it turns out you’re not in compliance, you're basically admitting to a violation."

"The bureau will never provide the level of certainty that industry wants,” Olson said. “That’s inevitable. The question is whether something short of that can be found will provide value.”

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