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Reading Between the Lines: The CFPB’s Annual Complaint Report

Last month, the CFPB released its annual consumer response report, which includes data on the complaints filed with the agency in 2017.  The report provides valuable insight for those willing to read between the lines.  First, you may want to review the nationwide trends in consumer complaints over the previous year, and see if there are any similar pain points for your members.  By doing so, you may be able to spot a pattern before it becomes a bigger issue, allowing you to stay one step ahead of potential complaints at your credit union.  In addition, there’s a good chance that the areas with the most complaints will receive extra scrutiny from your examiners, and could even trigger additional regulations from the CFPB in the future.

Here is a breakdown of the complaint volume by product or service in 2017:

  • Credit/consumer reporting: 31%
  • Debt collection: 26%
  • Mortgage: 12%
  • Credit card: 8%
  • Checking or savings: 8%
  • Student loan: 6%
  • Vehicle loan or lease: 3%
  • Money transfer or service, virtual currency: 2%
  • Personal loan: 2%
  • Payday loan: 0.9%
  • Prepaid card: 0.7%
  • Credit repair: 0.2%
  • Title loan: 0.2%

Since credit/consumer reporting and debt collection make up over half of the complaints in 2017, this will likely be a big focus in 2018.  The CFPB report further breaks each category down into the types of complaints submitted by consumers (such as incorrect information on their credit report, or attempts to collect a debt no longer owed), so I would highly recommend reviewing these examples to ensure your credit union is not guilty of similar actions.  And don’t ignore the areas that received less complaints; they can still provide you with valuable information and opportunities to improve your processes.

You can view the full report here.

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