Formed as a result of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been up and running since July. During the first three months following its July 21 start date, consumers logged in 5,074 credit card complaints. Of those complaints, 4,254 were then relayed to the appropriate card issuer. Credit card companies have reported that 74% of the complaints they received originating with the CFPB have been completely or partially resolved. Customers were satisfied with the final resolution in 71% of those instances.
By fielding such complaints, the CFPB is gaining precious insight into what is troubling consumers regarding their credit card accounts and their relationships with card issuing companies.
“When consumers contact us, we get a snapshot of how the consumer finance markets are working,” said Raj Date, the advisor for the Treasury Department who runs Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to internet resource Collections & Credit Risk. He went on to claim that the CPFB is “learning that there is a lot of consumer confusion about credit card terms.”
The three most oft-reported issues are contentions regarding billing, annual percentage rate problems and fraud, which indicates that many consumers are still befuddled by the terms of their credit card agreements.
The CPFB will carefully analyze all the issues reported by consumers in order to determine a course of action that will have the greatest chance of eliminating similar issues in the future. Potential methods may include new regulatory policies as well as intensified consumer education.
When a complaint is filed with the CFPB, it is forwarded on to the lending institution that is implicated. The bank then must report to the CPFB on the matter within 15 days to inform the bureau what measures are being taken to resolve the situation. After that, the bank has 60 days to resolve the complaint.
“Providing excellent customer service is of paramount importance to financial institutions and resolving every customer complaint is our top priority,” said Kenneth Clayton, the chief counsel of the American Bankers Association, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Currently, there are over 383 million consumer credit card accounts open nationwide.