California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta, along with a coalition of AGs, has submitted a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding a proposed final rule. This rule aims to establish a registry of nonbank entities that have been subject to orders related to consumer protection law violations.

Under the proposed rule, nonbank entities offering consumer financial products would be required to inform the CFPB if they become subject to an order issued by a federal, state, or local regulator, or a court concerning violations of consumer protection laws. The CFPB plans to make this information available through a searchable online registry, which would be accessible to regulators, businesses, and the public.

The registry intends to provide a centralized database for tracking orders against financial services companies across different jurisdictions and agencies. Currently, while enforcement actions typically result in public orders, there is no common database that comprehensively tracks these orders.

AG Bonta and the coalition express support for the rule, citing potential benefits such as improved identification of repeat offenders, more efficient resource allocation for enforcement actions, and increased transparency for various stakeholders.

This initiative is part of broader efforts by the California AG’s office to address financial consumer protection. Recent actions in this area include issuing warnings about potentially unlawful overdraft fees and supporting expanded CFPB supervisory authority over nontraditional digital payment applications.

The proposed registry comes at a time when financial technologies are rapidly evolving, presenting new challenges for regulators seeking to maintain consumer protection standards in an increasingly complex financial landscape.

Why It Matters

The implementation of this registry could significantly impact entities in the financial services industry. Companies may need to enhance their compliance protocols and reputation management strategies to avoid appearing in the registry, as presence could affect business relationships and consumer trust. The registry is likely to become a crucial tool in due diligence processes for mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, potentially altering industry-standard vetting procedures.

Companies listed in the registry may face increased regulatory scrutiny, necessitating additional resources for regulatory affairs and compliance. This could lead to more frequent audits or examinations, and potentially result in legal challenges or financial consequences, such as difficulty securing funding or higher capital costs.

The public accessibility of the registry could also influence consumer choice, prompting financial service providers to develop strategies for maintaining or rebuilding consumer confidence. Furthermore, the centralization of information from various jurisdictions could complicate compliance efforts for companies operating across multiple states or countries.

As the industry adapts to this new regulatory tool, it may drive changes in industry-wide standards and best practices. Financial service providers might need to invest in improved data management systems to ensure prompt and accurate reporting of relevant orders. By understanding these potential impacts, companies can proactively address compliance issues, manage risks, and maintain their competitive position in an evolving regulatory landscape.

Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is co-leader of the firm’s nationally ranked State Attorneys General practice, vice chair of the firm, and a partner in its Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He helps his clients navigate the complexities involved with multistate attorneys general investigations and enforcement actions, federal agency actions, and accompanying litigation.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clayton is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice, multidisciplinary teams with decades of experience crafting effective strategies to help deter or mitigate the risk of enforcement actions and litigation.
Judy Jagdmann
Judy is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy and Enforcement (RISE) practice, based in the Richmond office. She brings experience serving as chair and commissioner of the Virginia State Corporate Commission (VSCC) from 2006 through 2022, which includes regulating the utilities, insurance, banking, and securities industries. She also served as Virginia’s attorney general from 2005-2006.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen leads the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He focuses his practice on enforcement actions, investigations, and litigation. Stephen primarily represents clients engaging with, or being investigated by, state attorneys general and other state or local governmental enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, with a particular focus on heavily regulated industries.
Michael Yaghi
Michael is a partner in the firm’s State Attorneys General and Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Groups, nationwide teams that advise clients on consumer protection enforcement matters and other regulatory issues.
Samuel E. “Gene” Fishel
Gene is a member of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) practice, based in the Richmond office. He brings extensive regulatory experience, having most recently served as senior assistant attorney general and chief of the Computer Crime Section in the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, and as special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia for 20 years.
Tim Bado
Tim is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, where he represents corporations and individuals facing potential civil and criminal exposure. Tim’s experience in government investigations, enforcement actions, and white-collar litigation spans a number of industries, including financial services, pharmaceutical, health care, and government contracting, among others.
Chris Carlson
Chris Carlson represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Blake R. Christopher
Blake collaborates with clients on matters related to government contracting, investigations, and disputes. His senior-level government experience generates valuable insights and strategies for clients across a variety of industries.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy and Enforcement (RISE) practice. She focuses her practice on two primary areas: government contracting and state attorney general work.
Namrata Kang
Namrata (Nam) is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. She routinely advises clients on a wide variety of state and federal regulatory matters, with a particular emphasis on state consumer protection laws relating to consumer financial services and marketing and advertising.
Michael Lafleur
Michael is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy, and Enforcement Practice Group. Based out of the firm’s Boston office, Mike has deep experience in litigation, investigations, and other regulatory matters involving state-level regulators and state attorneys general.
Susan Nikdel
Susan is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and focuses her practice on consumer financial services matters. She has defended several of the nation’s largest and most influential financial institutions in individual and class action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and other consumer privacy statutes.
John Sample
John is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He focuses his practice on a wide range of general and complex litigation matters, including shareholder disputes, fraud, products liability, breach of contract, and Biometric Information Privacy Act claims.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Trey Smith
Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation.
Daniel Waltz
Daniel is a member of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and State Attorneys General team. He counsels clients in connection with navigating complex government investigations, regulatory compliance, and transactions, involving state and federal government contracting obligations. Drawing on his broad experience as a former assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois, Daniel is a problem solver both inside and outside the courtroom.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.