CFPB Announces Changes to Consumer Complaint Database

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced upcoming enhancements to the Consumer Complaint Database. The changes 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 Bureau’s press release noted that they had received nearly 26,000 comments on the database since its inception in 2018. AFSA has submitted several comments, specifically highlighting problems with the consumer-narratives featured on the site. Consumers are permitted to write anything they choose, regardless of veracity, about their experiences with financial institutions.

“After carefully examining and considering all stakeholder and public input, we are announcing the continued publication of complaints with enhanced data and context that will benefit consumers and users of the database while addressing many of the concerns raised,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “The continued publication of the database, along with the enhancements, empowers consumers and informs the public.”

AFSA commends the Bureau for enhancing certain aspects of the database to provide a more holistic picture to the complaint data. We believe, however, that consumers would be much better served with the removal of consumer narratives all together. They provide no verifiable data to other consumers and only serve to confuse those looking for a financial product or service.

AFSA will continue working with the Bureau to ensure the database more closely aligns with consumer needs.