Office of Innovation launches disclosure sandbox

A new division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expanding its efforts to promote safe tinkering for revamped disclosures.

A new division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expanding its efforts to promote safe tinkering for revamped disclosures.

The bureau’s recently launched Office of Innovation proposed the creation of a “disclosure sandbox” through revisions to the bureau’s existing policy to encourage trial disclosure programs. The bureau has yet to approve any trial disclosures under the 2013 policy.

The proposed policy includes a number of revisions designed to more effectively encourage companies to test new disclosures:

Streamlining the application and review process to focus on the quality and persuasiveness of the application

Granting or denying applications within 60 days of submission

Establishing an expected two-year time frame for the testing of disclosures

Specifying procedures for permitting companies to continue to use disclosures that test successfully

Coordinating with state regulators so that entities within state “regulatory sandboxes” may be able to participate in the Bureau’s Disclosure Sandbox without applying separately to the bureau

The revised policy is based on the same statutory authority as the existing policy, which allows the bureau to deem a covered person conducting a trial disclosure program to be in compliance with or exempt from a requirement of a CFPB rule or certain federal laws.

The move supports the bureau’s statutory mandate to ensure that markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation, the agency said in its announcement.

The bureau is seeking feedback on the new policy, available here; comments may be submitted until Oct. 10.

This proposed policy as well as the bureau joining the Global Financial Innovation Network are the first pair of actions to come from the new Office of Innovation, which Acting Director Mick Mulvaney established in mid-July. Other initiatives may be released in the coming months, the agency said.