NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker urged regulators to “exercise caution,” when communicating with credit unions about complaints they receive so as not increase the likelihood of litigation or reputational risk.
He expressed his views in separate letters to NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and Elizabeth Warren, who is setting up the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
Becker wrote Matz that he hopes when the agency’s new Office of Consumer Protection is fully operational later this year that it conducts only brief communications with credit union members who file complaints. He expressed concern that the office’s communications with a credit union member after receiving a response to a complaint about a credit union “could in some circumstances be harmful to the relationship between the credit union and the member.”
He also recommended that any letters to credit union members not “address any specific regulatory violations, if the office found that any occurred. The office should facilitate the resolution of disputes, not resolve them itself, he added.
To Warren, he recommended that the bureau have a complaint resolution system that distinguishes between reasonable and unjust inquiries. He also urged them to make sure that complaints about financial institutions are “not inappropriately disclosed” in a way that causes reputational risk or safety and soundness concerns.