CFPB overhauls Office of Innovation to focus on ‘promoting competition’

The CFPB today announced that it will open a new Office of Competition and Innovation. This new office will replace the bureau’s existing Office of Innovation, which was established in 2018 and focused on allowing companies to apply for no-action letters and regulatory sandboxes in order to test specific innovative product offerings. In a press release, the CFPB said that “after a review of these programs, the agency concludes that the initiatives proved to be ineffective.”

The bureau further stated that the purpose of the new office will be to “focus on how to create market conditions where consumers have choices, the best products win, and large incumbents cannot stifle competition by exploiting their network effects or market power.” Specifically, the CFPB said the office will seek to make it easier for consumers to switch accounts and service providers; research “structural problems” that create obstacles to innovation; understand dynamics between large and small players with regard to competition; and host events that explore barriers to entry and other obstacles.