Compliance: CFPB announces changes to consumer complaint database

September 23, 2019

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it will continue the publication of consumer complaints, data fields and narrative descriptions through its Consumer Complaint Database but will make several enhancements to the information available.

The CFPB also said it will work to provide enhanced features for the database that include dynamic visualization tools on recent complaint data.

The enhancements include:

  • Modified disclaimers to provide better context to the published data;
  • Integrating financial information and resources into the complaint process to help address questions and better inform consumers before they submit a complaint; and
  • Information to assist consumers who wish to contact the financial company to get answers to their specific questions.

The CFPB s making changes to its website to provide disclosures on the nature of complaints as well as resources to consumers, including:

  • More prominently display disclosures making it clear that the Consumer Complaint Database is not a statistical sample of consumers’ experiences in the marketplace;
  • Highlighting the availability of answers to common financial questions for consumers to help inform them before they submit a complaint; and
  • Highlighting consumers ability to contact the financial company directly to get answers to their specific questions.

According to the CFPB, it will continue to publish all previously disclosed fields, including consumers’ narrative descriptions of their complaints.

To further enhance the database in the coming months, the CFPB will:

  • Build and launch dynamic visualization tools including geospatial and trend views based on recent complaint data to help users of the database understand current and recent marketplace conditions;
  • Emphasize features for aggregation and analysis while continuing to make all the underlying data available for analysis;
  • Explore expansion of a company’s ability to respond publicly to individual complaints listed in the database; and
  • Continue to explore ways to put the complaint data in context of other data, such as by incorporating product or service market share and company size.

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