CFPB issues interpretive rule on states’ enforcement authority

The CFPB today issued an interpretive rule stating its view that state regulators and state attorneys general have enforcement authority with regard to all provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, based on its interpretation of Section 1042 of the CFPA.

The interpretive rule also notes that while the CFPB’s enforcement authority is limited under Sections 1027 and 1029 of the CFPA, such limitations “do not extend to states exercising their enforcement authority under section 1042.” Among other things, the interpretive rule notes that “states can enforce [federal consumer financial laws]to the full extent authorized under those laws . . . including against national banks and federal savings associations,” implying that the Chopra-led CFPB intends to interpret its preemptive authority as limited. Additionally, the interpretive rule clarifies that states may pursue enforcement actions under Section 1042 “even if the bureau is pursuing a concurrent action against the same entity.”

In a press release on the interpretive rule, the CFPB also signaled that it “plans to consider other steps to promote state enforcement of federal consumer financial protection law, including ways to facilitate victim redress. ABA staff are currently reviewing the interpretive rule.