CFPB Unveils Complaint Narratives, Access for Government Workers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today published the first 7,700 consumer narratives that consumers had opted to have accompany their complaints in the CFPB’s public database. More than half of consumers submitting complaints since narratives were added in March have opted to share their narratives.

ABA has strongly opposed the CFPB’s plan to publish narratives, arguing that doing so exceeds the bureau’s mandate and imposes excessive risks on banks and customers. “We’re disappointed that the bureau has chosen to become an official purveyor of unsubstantiated and potentially false information instead of fostering informed and responsible consumer choice,” ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said. The bureau also released a request for comments on additional ways it can make the database useful to consumers. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

In related news, the CFPB today published in the Federal Register a notice seeking comments on plans to develop a portal by which members of Congress, their staffs and state agencies can access individual complaints. Through this portal, congressional offices and agencies could search by company and complaint topic and export complaint data. ABA is concerned that allowing access through this portal could increase the risk of a consumer data breach. ABA will provide comments by the Aug. 24 deadline.