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Comp Blog

The CFPB Complaint Program, Part IV: What does the data say about CU's?

By: Danielle Wright

CommentTuesday - April 22, 2014

The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint database contains listings of consumer complaints against credit unions and other financial institutions. There are nine categories of major products/services that consumers can complain about, and the database reveals that credit unions have received at least one complaint on 8 of these products/services. Thankfully so far, the complaint data doesn’t say much about credit unions. Of the over 225,000 complaints in the public database, credit unions account for only about 850, or 0.3%, of these complaints.

Since only financial institutions with assets over $10 billion have their complaints listed in this public database, so far only four of the nation’s credit unions are included in the database. These complaints against the big four CU’s were all submitted between December 2011 and April 2014, and as of April 18, 2014, nearly 850 complaints against credit unions were viewable in this database. Of these, 33% were for bank account service issues, 31% were for mortgages, 12% were for consumer loans, 20% were for credit cards, 3% were for debt collection, and less than 1% were for credit reporting issues. The CFPB told me that although they do include all credit union complaints in the published “amount of complaints received” (about 300,000), complaints against credit unions under $10 billion in assets are forwarded to NCUA or state credit union regulators, and are not included in the public database.

With payday lending being one of the next financial services on the CFPB’s radar, we were curious about the volume of these complaints as well. However, as I mentioned in a prior post, while the CFPB has been accepting complaints on payday loans (over 1,000 in the first two months), these complaints are not yet available for public view in the database. According to CFPB policy, once the Bureau begins to accept complaints about a specific product, it first evaluates the data of each new product/service and considers whether any specific policy changes are warranted before beginning to publish those complaints. Since the Bureau has only been receiving payday complaints for a little over 6 months, I’m assuming it will be a while before they make any of them public.

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