comment letter

Joint Trades Request CFPB to Publicize Y-14 Data Used in Credit Card Late Fee NPRM

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Dear Director Chopra:

The Bank Policy Institute, American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions1 are writing with respect to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Credit Card Penalty Fees (Regulation Z).2 The NPR proposes sweeping changes to the provisions of Regulation Z related to credit card late fees. Among other changes, the proposal would reduce the credit card late fee safe harbor to $8 from its current levels of $30 for a first violation and $41 for a subsequent violation within the next six billing cycles. In support of that dramatic reduction and other proposed changes, the Bureau relies extensively on data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Y-14M data collection and other “[i]nformation provided in response to a series of data filing orders made to several industry participants, comprised of two distinct sets” and refers repeatedly to analyses it conducted using such data.

We support regulatory efforts to promote transparency, consumer choice and competition in the markets for financial products and services, and we intend to comment on the Bureau’s NPR. Yet the Bureau has not released to the public the underlying data and empirical analysis on which the Bureau relies. The Associations understand that releasing the Y-14M data and other data on which the Bureau has relied may raise confidentiality concerns; accordingly, we request only that the Bureau release such data in a manner that is anonymized and/or aggregated to the extent necessary to protect confidential bank information. Without this information, it is virtually impossible to understand or replicate the analysis in any meaningful way, significantly hindering the public’s ability to provide thoughtful input.

The Bureau’s decision to rely on data and analysis that it has not publicly disclosed conflicts with bedrock principles of administrative law

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