In October 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an outline of proposals to strengthen consumers’ rights to access their financial data. As a global leader in data aggregation and data analytics, Envestnet® | Yodlee® applauds the CFPB for moving forward with this crucial first step toward rulemaking that will enable Americans to have greater ability to share their financial data with third-party financial service providers and receive a more complete view of their financial lives.
The CFPB recognizes that consumers should determine who has access to their data and for what purpose. This upcoming rulemaking will meaningfully improve customer-permissioned data access and competition in the financial services sector, which will help Americans better understand and manage their financial wellness. While this is a significant first step, there are elements of the rulemaking that we believe should be enhanced.
Below are Envestnet | Yodlee’s recommendations, submitted in response to the CFPB’s request for stakeholder feedback:
Expand the scope to include a broader set of both covered parties and account types
We believe both consumers and small businesses deserve the same rights to data access and portability. In order to unleash the full potential of open finance, we also feel that all consumer financial accounts, including mortgages and brokerage accounts, should be included to enable consumers to effectively manage their financial wellbeing and improve financial outcomes.
Create an environment where the consumer decides when and with whom to share their data
Consumers and small businesses are best positioned to determine what financial products, tools or services meet their unique financial situation. The CFPB should ensure the consumer or business has the ability to make this decision without interference.
Require dedicated data access portals
We share the Bureau’s view that a comprehensive shift to APIs would best serve and protect consumers over the long term. The CFPB should provide a multiyear timeline under which all financial institutions will be required to deploy dedicated data access portals to facilitate third-party, customer-permissioned data access. The timeline for compliance should be tiered such that smaller financial institutions are provided with a longer timeline to transition.
Ensure that de-identified data may continue to be utilized for a broad range of important use cases
De-identified data is widely used by various organizations for important purposes. For example, increasing access to affordable credit, informing academic and macroeconomic research, and government policymaking decisions. Market ecosystems rely on this data to inform research and decisions.
Directly supervise data aggregation platforms, including Envestnet | Yodlee
Data aggregators like Envestnet | Yodlee play an integral role in facilitating access for tens of millions of consumers and small businesses to products, services and tools that help them live an Intelligent Financial Life™.
As this ecosystem continues to grow, we believe it’s appropriate for the CFPB to supervise data aggregation platforms like ours to enable continued growth and trust in the ecosystem while ensuring consumer and small business protection.
We commend the Bureau for its thoughtfulness as it enters this rulemaking process to implement a critically important financial data access right for consumers across the United States. We believe our recommendations will further advance and protect consumers and enable them to live an Intelligent Financial Life.