Trades to CFPB: Banks provide superior customer service

The American Bankers Association joined the Bank Policy Institute and Consumer Bankers Association in asserting that banks provide superior customer service through a variety of channels and tools—including branches, online, mobile applications and telephone—in a comment letter submitted today.

The letter responds to the CFPB’s request for information on the customer service that banks provide to consumers and whether consumers face obstacles in seeking to obtain high levels of customer service. The RFI was issued last June in conjunction with the CFPB’s launch of an initiative to “improve customer service at big banks.” The CFPB stated that many large financial institutions “are increasingly shifting toward algorithmic banking” and that the agency seeks to “restore relationship banking in an era of consolidation and digitization.”

The associations strongly disputed the CFPB’s characterization of the level of customer service that banks provide. “Banks provide products and services that help consumers meet their financial needs, and they are continuously innovating to better serve customers in this highly competitive marketplace,” the trade groups said. “Banks serve customers where they are and at the times when customers want to access banking services. The multitude of ways customers can access banking services and receive assistance with those services is a hallmark—not a detriment—of the U.S. banking system.”

The associations’ letter cites ABA survey data that found that 81% of consumers believe “tech improvements by banks are making it easier to access financial services” and that 97% of customers rank their bank’s customer service as “excellent,” “very good” or “good.”