WASHINGTON — While most federal banking regulators use enforcement actions as a way to shape industry practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking that to a whole other level, frequently using orders as a substitute for new rules or guidelines.

"The use of consent orders to establish new standards or de facto rules for an industry has been the hallmark of the CFPB since its inception," said Christopher Willis, who leads the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group at Ballard Spahr. "The thing that makes the CFPB different is the sheer number of enforcement actions in which the agency has done de facto rulemaking."

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