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Jesse provides practical and business-minded advice to clients in the financial services sector. With senior in-house and both state and federal government experience, he helps clients mitigate potential risks throughout their business cycle.

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued an “interpretive rule,” subjecting “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) transactions to provisions of Regulation Z applicable to “credit cards.” Among other things, this classification would require BNPL and other lenders to extend many of the same legal protections and rights to consumers that apply to traditional credit cards, including the rights to dispute charges and demand refunds for returned products, and, potentially, receive periodic statements. The Bureau claims its authority to issue this interpretive rule — in lieu of a formal rulemaking — stems from the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z, and its general authority to issue guidance as set forth in § 1022(b)(1) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.

In this episode of The Consumer Finance Podcast, Chris Willis is joined by colleague Jesse Silverman. They discuss the crucial steps fintech firms need to take to establish and maintain successful partnerships with banks. Silverman, with his unique background as a state regulator, CFPB staff member, and fintech executive, provides insights into the preparation, due diligence, and onboarding processes. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the bank’s compliance requirements, having clear policies and procedures, and ensuring a robust information security system. Silverman also discusses the benefits and challenges of using a Banking as a Service (BaaS) partner. The episode provides valuable advice for fintech companies looking to navigate the complexities of partnering with banks in a highly regulated industry.

On April 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) entered a consent order against BloomTech, a for-profit vocational school, and its CEO, Austen Allred, for deceptive marketing practices related to income-share agreements (ISAs). The CFPB found that BloomTech and Allred misled students about the nature and cost of their ISAs and made false claims about job-placement rates for graduates. The CFPB’s action highlights the Bureau’s ongoing scrutiny of ISAs, including the Bureau’s classification of ISAs as loans, and the Bureau’s concern that consumers may not fully understand the true cost of their educations if they use ISAs.

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a procedural rule streamlining the designation proceedings for nonbank supervision based on a particular entity posing “risks to consumers.” As discussed in “Our Take” below, the changes are designed to encourage nonbanks to volunteer to be supervised, while making it easier for the CFPB to impose supervisory oversight when companies do not consent.