On January 23, the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate their consumer protection activities and to avoid duplicating law enforcement and regulatory actions at the federal level.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB and the FTC to collaborate to ensure consistent regulatory treatment of consumer financial products and services. Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, believes that “this agreement ensures that businesses will not be double-teamed by the two agencies.” Some of the coordinating efforts by the CFPB and the FTC outlined in the MOU include the following:
- Regular meetings to coordinate upcoming law enforcement, rulemaking, and other activities;
- Informing the other agency, absent exigent circumstances, prior to initiating an investigation or bringing an enforcement action. This notice will prevent duplicative or conflicting enforcement efforts and undue burdens on industry;
- Consulting on rulemaking and guidance initiatives to promote consistency and reflect the experience and expertise of both agencies;
- Cooperation on consumer education efforts to promote consistency of messages and maximum use of resources; and
- Sharing consumer complaints among the agencies.
The MOU lasts for three years.