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ABA Asks Consumer Watchdog Agency to Withdraw Proposed Rule on Privileged Information

Posted Apr 20, 2012 5:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The ABA is expressing concern that a proposed rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could weaken, rather than safeguard, protections for attorney-client privilege and work product.

The ABA says the proposed rule should be withdrawn until legislation is passed to provide explicit protection for privileged bank materials shared with the newly created consumer bureau. Current law already protects privileged materials shared with other federal banking agencies.

In a letter (PDF), ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III expresses concern that the proposed rule won’t protect privileged materials, despite wording that says the privilege won’t be waived as to third parties. The problem, Robinson says, is that the rule is based on the CFPB’s claim that it has the authority to require financial institutions to produce privileged information. The Dodd-Frank Act does not give the CFPB such authority, the letter maintains.

Robinson’s letter was prepared in coordination with the ABA Task Force on Financial Markets Regulatory Reform, Corporate Counsel reports.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “ABA Urges Protection for Privileged Banking Material Shared with New Consumer Bureau”

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