WASHINGTON (4/11/13)--In the April 10 issue of the Federal Register, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acknowledged the concerns of the Credit Union National Association and others that public disclosure of consumer complaints could have the unintended consequence of unmerited reputational damage.
The CFPB officially launched a database of consumer complaints regarding financial products and services in late March by making more than 90,000 comments publicly available.
CUNA had underscored that while credit unions will not likely be the subject of a sizable number of consumer complaints, the database still could have unintended negative consequences. CUNA has warned that sensitive or confidential business or consumer information could be inadvertently disclosed when consumer complaints are filed in the database.
"The bureau should take steps to minimize privacy risks and other unintended consequences," CUNA has said in a series of comment letters.
The bureau, in the April 10 document, acknowledged the possibility that "some consumers may draw (or be led to) erroneous conclusions from the data."
Although the CFPB also makes the point that the same would be true of "any market data," it went on to say the agency is "open, however, to further suggestions from trade associations, companies, and other concerned stakeholders on how best to provide additional context for the public database."