ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/8/15)--Credit unions have 60 days to respond to consumer complaints before the National Credit Union Administration’s Consumer Assistance Center (CAC) gets involved, the agency said in a Letter to Credit Unions (15-CU-04) letter last week.
The letter was sent to federally insured credit unions to describe recent agency changes intended to streamline and improve its consumer complaint handling process.
The complaint process involves two separate phases: attempted resolution by the credit union and CAC investigation.
In the initial phase, the CAC will assign a case number and forward the complaint to the credit union’s CEO and to the chair of the credit union’s supervisory committee. The committee will have the opportunity to review and, if appropriate, attempt resolution of the matter within 60 calendar days of the date of the forwarded letter.
If the CAC is notified within 60 days that the matter is resolved, the case will be closed. The CAC will begin a formal investigation if no written response is given, the credit union indicates that it cannot resolve the matter or the consumer disputes the resolution.
The credit union, along with the consumer, will be notified of the investigation.
The investigation will consist of an assessment of all issues in the complaint, leading to five possible findings:
In the latter case, should the NCUA have supervisory concerns about the credit union’s actions, it will follow up directly and ensure compliance with the applicable law or regulation.
According to the NCUA, these changes will be implemented gradually over the next several months, with the intent to provide credit unions the opportunity to become familiar with the new CAC procedures and make necessary adjustments to their compliance management and complaint handling systems.
The CAC is responsible for addressing consumer complaints involving federal credit unions with assets up to $10 billion and, in some instances, federally insured state-chartered credit unions.
Complaints that do not fall within the NCUA’s purview are forwarded to the appropriate state supervisory authority or federal regulator. This includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for complaints involving federal consumer protection laws and those against credit unions with assets of more than $10 billion.