Date Released: CFPB-PR-240229-1

February 29, 2024


CFPB-PR-240229-1 – CFPB Issues Guidance to Rein in Rigged Comparison-Shopping Results for Credit Cards and Other Financial Products – Manipulative advertisements and kickbacks undermine competition and can violate federal law


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today issued a circular to law enforcement agencies and regulators explaining how companies operating comparison-shopping tools can break the law when they steer consumers to certain products or lenders because of kickbacks. Consumers use comparison-shopping tools to evaluate the costs, features, and terms of many financial products, including credit cards, loans, and bank accounts. However, consumers often encounter manipulated results or digital dark patterns, fueled by behind-the-scenes incentive payments from lenders. The circular explains how these practices may violate federal law and highlights examples of illegal arrangements.

“Americans turn to online comparison tools to find the credit card with the lowest interest rates or best rewards,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The CFPB is working to ensure that digital advertisements for financial products are not disguised as unbiased and objective advice.”

Digital comparison-shopping tools are widely used in many product categories, from retail goods to travel and financial products. By allowing consumers to compare a variety of competing products quickly and efficiently, these tools have the potential to benefit individual consumers and drive competition across the larger market.

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[Date Accessed: 3/11/2024]

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