The CFPB yesterday joined the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, OCC, and state bank and credit union regulators in a Joint Statement on Managing the LIBOR Transition to emphasize the expectation that supervised institutions with LIBOR exposure continue to progress toward an orderly transition away from LIBOR. Additionally, the statement includes clarification regarding new LIBOR contracts, considerations when assessing appropriateness of alternative reference rates, and expectations for fallback language.
In its press release the Bureau said the "approaching discontinuation of most LIBOR tenors in June 2023 presents financial, legal, operational, and consumer protection risks. Additionally, consumers may not know when the transition from LIBOR will occur or how institutions will calculate their interest rates if they do not issue required disclosures to consumers."
On June 4, 2020, the CFPB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and FAQs relating to the LIBOR transition. The CFPB is continuing work on a final rule to address the anticipated expiration of LIBOR and expects to issue it in January 2022. The FAQs pertain to compliance with existing CFPB regulations for consumer financial products and services impacted by the anticipated LIBOR discontinuation and resulting need to transition to other indices.
In October 2019, the CFPB published a blog post discussing the transition away from LIBOR to help consumers understand this market-wide change. In June, 2020, the CFPB released an updated consumer handbook on adjustable rate mortgages to help consumers better understand these products and how their payments can change over time.
The interagency statement identifies specific actions financial institutions can consider in preparation for the elimination of LIBOR based loans. Among those actions are developing and implementing a transition plan for communicating with consumers and including fallback language that defines a fallback reference rate. Finally, the interagency statement includes clarification on the meaning of certain key terms, factors industry should consider when selecting alternative rates, and expectations for fallback language.