The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued for comment a proposed policy statement on the agency’s public disclosure of data regarding the credit card complaints it receives from consumers regarding banks and federally insured credit unions (FICUs) with more than $10 billion in assets. CFPB also released a report regarding the more than 5,000 credit card complaints about large issuers that it has received since July 2011. CFPB will be accepting comments on the proposed policy statement until January 30, 2012 and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) plans to post an online regulatory comment call regarding the policy statement in the near future. CUNA will develop its comment letter with the CFPB Consumer Protection Subcommittee and send it to credit unions and leagues by the end of this month.
If the CFPB finalizes the proposed policy statement in its current form, the agency would release data about consumer credit card complaints involving large issuers in an online, searchable database, and would include information such as: the type of complaint (e.g., billing dispute); the name of the card issuing institution; the consumer’s zip code; the date of the complaint; and whether and how the issuer responded (i.e. “closing the complaint with relief” to the consumer or “closing the complaint without relief” to the consumer). Ultimately, CFPB plans to disclose data about complaints it receives regarding other types of large institution financial products in a similar manner in the future.
Credit card complaints regarding FICUs with $10 billion or less in assets would continue to be forwarded by CFPB to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for investigation and are not proposed to be disclosed publicly in the online database or any other form at this time. However, it is possible that – as a result of CFPB’s public disclosure of large institution complaint data – NCUA may in the future be encouraged by other government agencies, consumer groups, and/or Congress to release similar complaint data about credit cards and/or other financial products provided by FICUs with $10 billion or less in assets.