September 20, 2018

NAFCU retells bureau: Consumer complaints shouldn't be public

Dan Berger, NAFCU President and CEO

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in a letter Wednesday, agreed with Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Acting Director Mick Mulvaney's position that the bureau is not statutorily required to "run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government."

"Publication of unverified consumer narratives can have long-lasting effects on a credit union’s reputation, resulting in fewer members, market share, and potentially resulting in more time-consuming examinations," Berger wrote as he reiterated that the bureau should remove its consumer complaint database from public view.

NAFCU has pressed the bureau to avoid publication of complaint information that cannot be fully verified in order to reduce the risk of reputational harm. Mulvaney has indicated that changes will likely be made to the database to keep it consistent with the law.

Berger said since the bureau uses information submitted to the database to inform its examination and supervision of financial institutions, "complaint data should be treated as non-public information and should be limited to internal use given its significant influence over the Bureau’s supervisory functions."

NAFCU previously wrote to the bureau in June on the issue and included it as one of the five things the bureau can do now to provide immediate and much-needed regulatory relief to the credit union industry.

Read Berger's full letter here.