CUNA used the latest request for comment on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) consumer complaint database to reiterate its concerns about the legitimacy and accuracy of the database. The CFPB requested approval from the Office of Management and Budget to establish a new information collection that will incorporate a short survey into the complaint closing process.
“CUNA urges the CFPB to take appropriate steps to verify the legitimacy and accuracy, to the extent possible, of a consumer’s complaint and/or compliment prior to public disclosure,” the letter reads. “Under the current system, we believe it is possible that some institutions are effectively unable to respond to consumers’ narrative description of complaints due to privacy restrictions.”
CUNA also cautioned the CFPB from relying too heavily on consumer complaint narratives, which will be permitted.
“We are somewhat surprised that the CFPB, as a data driven agency, is focusing so much on consumer narratives, which are likely to facilitate primarily anecdotal stories with little or no validation,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, assuming some consumer responses are in fact positive, this type of public disclosure could unfairly promote institutions supervised by the CFPB, because other institutions, such as most credit unions that are examined and supervised by their prudential regulators, would not have such responses posted for public view.”
CUNA asked the CFPB to “analyze extensively” the potential benefits and costs associated with its proposed survey.