Through a series of recent public comments, top leadership from the Consumer Financial Protection Board (“CFPB”) is warning that the agency is poised to play an increasingly affirmative role in the oversight of new payments systems, including the technologies and technology companies involved. First, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra told federal lawmakers that “the desire of Big Tech to gain greater control over the flow of money in the economy raises a number of questions.” Director Chopra’s comments make clear that his agency is stepping up its regulatory scrutiny of large technology firms as well as more traditional participants in the consumer finance industry, such as banks and mortgage companies. Just days later, Director Chopra issued a statement reiterating his concerns about the role of large technology companies in consumer finance and further declaring that the CFPB is “actively monitoring” and preparing for a broader consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies. Commenting specifically on the Report on Stablecoins issued by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Director Chopra stated that the use cases for stablecoins in retail payments, consumer deposits, stored value instruments, and others “trigger obligations under federal consumer financial protection laws,” including the prohibition of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. These comments and others by the CFPB lead many to conclude that a more aggressive enforcement approach across industries is likely to follow.

As a starting point, Director Chopra indicated that the CFPB is examining the following questions regarding tech firms’ role in real-time consumer payments:

  • How will these firms harvest and monetize data they collect on consumer transactions?
  • What criteria will the firms use to decide who is removed from the platform?
  • How will they ensure that payment systems adhere to consumer protections?
  • Will Big Tech giants have an incentive to impede the entry of new firms seeking to offer competitive products and services?

Continue Reading Consumer Protection Regulator Signals Increased Scrutiny of Payments Systems and Tech Companies

White Collar Partner Kevin Feldis speaks with Tony Davis, chief executive officer and chief information officer of Inherent Group, a value-based investment company that uses environmental, social, and governance factors to make investment decisions. Kevin and Tony outline key ESG factors, describe how focusing on these factors can create value for companies, and also discuss

Markus Funk and Kevin Feldis speak with Corey Norton, Vice President for Supply Chain Legality at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about the important role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play in corporate supply chain compliance. NGOs have both outside credibility and an insiders on-the-ground understanding of local supply chain issues that can be invaluable

This podcast provides rare insight from a retired FBI agent regarding how to add science into the art of interviewing. Perkins Coie partner Kevin Feldis, a former federal prosecutor, talks with retired FBI Special Agent Colton Seale about recent research on conducting more effective witness interviews. Colton spent 22 years with the FBI, including serving

Perkins Coie’s award-winning White Collar & Investigations practice has teamed up with the ABA’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee to launch a podcast series as an extension of our White Collar Briefly blog.

Our first five episodes, linked below, feature fascinating, candid conversations with a variety of special guests, including:

  • American “book of the year” author, editor, screenplay writer and publisher Dave Eggers
  • Joel Esquenazi (defendant in the high-profile US v. Esquenazi FCPA case)
  • Molson Coors’ Global Ethics & Compliance Chief Caroline McMichen
  • Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall
  • University of Colorado COO (and former GC) Patrick O’Rourke
  • Avanos Medical Deputy GC Ross Mansbach

Note that all episodes are available on Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple Podcast. Additionally, you can visit our blog and subscribe to receive each new podcast, including the highly-anticipated Dave Eggers podcast, in your inbox.
Continue Reading Introducing the White Collar Briefly Podcast

A new $2 million SBA safe harbor for PPP loans appears to create a wide umbrella that substantially reduces the risk that adverse consequences will rain down and soak companies with loans in this category. Perkins Coie attorneys examine the May 13 guidance and say companies will continue to benefit from conducting a PPP “necessity”

Companies seeking PPP loans must concurrently navigate the potential minefield of public scrutiny and government enforcement, requiring a heightened level of planning and procedures.

An adequate compliance program is a must to avoid ramped-up enforcement efforts and to minimize legal and reputational risks.

Click here to read the full article published by Bloomberg Law.

The arrests in the college admissions bribery scandal may have ushered in a new era of scrutiny by federal law enforcement.  Perkins Coie attorneys anticipate questions that prosecutors, civil litigants and the public may ask in the weeks and months ahead, and offer six key foundational steps all institutions of higher learning should take immediately