Happening NOW: Challenges to the Rule of Law: A Pre-End-of-Term Supreme Court Review



The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to release consumers’ complaints adds additional transparency to the financial system.

Part of a Series

idea light bulbThe CFPB has made noteworthy efforts to process and publicize more than 395,000 complaints about financial institutions through its Consumer Complaint Database, a remarkable number for a new program that has been operating for less than three years. By providing a single, efficient route for consumers to voice complaints about a wide variety of financial actors and products, this system enables individual concerns to be raised and resolved quickly. The system also provides an opportunity for CFPB staff, outside analysts, and the general public to use the database to identify broader patterns and underlying systemic issues that cut across the financial system, including concerns that other tools may fail to capture.

Recently, the CFPB released for public comment a new proposal to release narrative data on consumer complaints. This additional data would greatly strengthen the Consumer Complaint Database by making the actual text of a complaint, excluding any personally identifiable information, public with the consent of the consumer. This effort is worthy of support, provided that consumers choose whether to make their complaints public and retain the ability to make the complaint private in the future. The CFPB should also implement the proposal’s recommendation that the financial institution’s response be made public as well.

For more on this idea, please see:

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Explore The Series