Banks and non-bank financial firms should be concerned about how the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will handle attorney-client privileged documents and other confidential materials. Although the CFPB has issued a document promising to take “all reasonable and appropriate actions” to guard confidential information, the new consumer watchdog cannot guarantee that such will always be the case.

Christopher Willis, a partner at Ballard Spahr in Atlanta, is among those who believes that the CFPB guidance may not hold water. He said the agency “took a short cut” in its effort to gain access to privileged materials.

“The Supreme Court has taught us again and again that in interpreting federal laws, we should read what the statutes say, rather than inferring what we thought Congress meant,” Mr. Willis told the publication. “Given the appointment of a director who is a former state attorney general, there is likely to be a great deal of cooperation with the states.”