Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Electronic Credit Card Disclosures in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Bureau recognizes the serious impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the financial lives of many consumers and on the operations of many supervised entities, including credit card issuers subject to TILA. Certain E-Sign requirements may make it harder for consumers to obtain relief quickly where the Bureau’s rules require written disclosures so long as the pandemic is leading to unusually high call volumes at issuers and constraining their staff capacity.
The Bureau will take a flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this pandemic regarding card issuers’ electronic provision of disclosures required to be in writing for account-opening disclosures and temporary rate or fee reduction disclosures mandated under the provisions governing non-home secured, open-end credit in Regulation Z. Specifically, this statement pertains to oral telephone interactions where a card issuer may seek to open a new credit card account for a consumer, to provide certain temporary reductions in APRs or fees applicable to an existing account, or to offer a low-rate balance transfer. In these instances, the Bureau does not intend to cite a violation in an examination or bring an enforcement action against an issuer that during a phone call does not obtain a consumer’s E-Sign consent to electronic provision of the written disclosures required by Regulation Z, so long as the issuer during the phone call obtains both the consumer’s oral consent to electronic delivery of the written disclosures and oral affirmation of his or her ability to access and review the electronic written disclosures.