Oct. 16, 2012 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a reasonable process in place for handling consumer financial services complaints but could improve and strengthen controls in its Consumer Response unit, according to a CFPB/Federal Reserve Board inspector general report.
The report, issued in September, suggests changes addressing:
- inaccurate manual data entry of consumer complaints;
- inconsistent complaint management system data;
- lack of a comprehensive quality assurance program;
- lack of a centralized tracking system for quality assurance reviews.
NAFCU has been concerned about the reputation risk to credit unions posed by the CFPB’s public consumer complaint database and has urged safeguards. The association has closely watched the development of the bureau’s complaint-handling process and urged that all complaints be verified as legitimate before they are added to the database.
“We want to ensure that the bureau’s consumer complaint data is accurate, that it is handled with care and that individual credit unions aren’t put in an untenable position due to frivolous or unverified claims,” said Carrie Hunt, NAFCU’s general counsel and vice president of regulatory affairs.
The OIG report notes discrepancies in consumer contact information in 18 of the 85 sampled referrals, or 21 percent of referrals. While initially the manual data entry process was subject to 100 percent verification, that figure dropped the faster information came in. It also notes, among other things, that QA reviews are retained separately by the complaint intake section, investigations section and contact centers, and not consolidated.