The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is seeking comments on proposed changes to its Trial Disclosure Program which provides a safe harbor for companies that want to test innovative new methods for making required consumer disclosures. The program was initiated in 2013 but in the past five years only a handful of applications were made and no trial disclosures were approved.
The Bureau hopes to bring new life to the Trial Disclosure Program by streamlining the application process, providing clearer guidance on testing time frames, allowing for the extension of trial programs that prove successful and by coordinating the program with other regulators. Applicants must describe their new disclosure or delivery method and explain how it improves consumer understanding or cost-effectiveness. If approved, the applicant is granted a safe harbor and will be deemed in compliance with existing disclosure requirements.
Proposed changes to the Trial Disclosure Program include:
The proposal also states the Bureau’s position that a safe harbor granted under the Trial Disclosure Program would protect the recipient from related enforcement actions by other federal and state regulators and serve as a bar to private litigation.
If you want to make sure the revised Trial Disclosure Program meets your specific needs, you may submit comments to the Bureau. Deadline for submission is October 10, 2018.