Trades Urge Changes in Complaint Process for New Consumer Bureau
CUNA and NAFCU want the complaint process at the new consumer bureau to be less burdensome for credit unions and not publicize unwarranted complaints against financial institutions.
“We are concerned that the burden on some institutions could be substantial–particularly given the Bureau’s estimate that between one and three million forms will be completed annually,” CUNA Assistant General Counsel Luke Martone wrote in a comment letter. “It is therefore possible that this new intake method will increase the number of complaints credit unions received and result in new regulatory burdens.”
Martone also recommends that the bureau give credit unions the chance to directly respond to consumer complaints, while sending copies to the bureau, rather than requiring a response from the bureau.
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker wrote that it isn’t “appropriate to publicize complaints made against particular financial institutions given that any consumer can file a complaint, regardless of the merits of the accusation.”
He also urged the bureau to minimize the amount of personal data it collects from people who file complaints to reduce the potential damage that could be caused by data breaches.
In addition, Becker suggested that when requesting information from consumers filing complaints, the bureau should ask for documentation about whether they contacted the financial institution and what response they received. Consumers should also be able to attach documentation to the complaint form and explain what their desired outcome is.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established by the financial overhaul bill passed by Congress last year, is scheduled to begin operation in July. It is now in the setup stage and determining the procedures for resolving complaints.
For further information on the bureau, which will be an independent agency housed in the Federal Reserve, and to read comment letters, go to: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/