CFPB Recognizes Pandemic Accommodations by Financial Institutions

Banks made accommodations to help consumers address pandemic-related hardships beyond what was legally required under the CARES Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau observed in its latest “Supervisory Highlights” report. The report focuses on findings from the bureau’s prioritized assessment work that took place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bureau said that some institutions offered expanded payment assistance programs and fee waivers due to the pandemic and many credit card issuers offered deferrals, while auto servicers provided six-month payment deferrals to any consumer with a COVID-19 hardship. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, many institutions created COVID-19 response teams to identify and address consumer and industry challenges caused by the pandemic, and the CFPB noted that many were active in monitoring key processes and were able to self-identify issues and implement corrective actions.

Other pandemic response efforts observed by the bureau included providing consumer remediation; reversing fees; updating scripts to provide accurate information to consumers; transitioning from manual to automated processes; correcting inaccurate credit reporting and correcting account histories.

The report also offered specific observations related to mortgage servicing, auto and student loan servicing, credit card account management, consumer report-furnishing, debt collection, deposits, prepaid cards and small business lending.