Based on the authority it believes granted to it by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB is seeking views on the extent to which financial institutions that hold consumer data should be required to release them to third parties selected by the consumer such as “aggregators” that combine data to sell products from other providers.  The Bureau believes that facilitating access to consumer information would help consumers realize the benefits of other providers of selected services facilitated through access to their data while advancing innovation.  It also believes that some providers (i.e., large banks) now are inappropriately barring access.  However, the Bureau notes also that appropriate data protection must be assured.  This initiative is aimed most immediately at informing industry best practice, but it could well lead to new rules at the CFPB under the Trump Administration or possible Congressional reforms if the resulting agency decides to pursue actions recommended by comments on this request.  If data aggregation advances as advocates hope, it could redefine retail finance much as other “disrupters” have done for long-established, regulated businesses such as taxi services.

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