Faced with plans by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create an online forum in which consumers can anonymously share their stories of bad interactions with banks and other financial services firms, the industry is pushing back with a web-based effort of its own.
The Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group that represents banks, insurance companies, credit card issuers and other financial services firms, has launched the website CFPBRumors.com, aiming to highlight what it says are dangerous elements of the agency’s plan.
“Our members are concerned about it, principally because of the concern about potential consumer confusion. It’s one side of the story,” said Anne Wallace, senior director consumer financial services at the Roundtable.
CFPB has said that when it begins releasing the consumer narratives, it will give institutions an opportunity to respond to the complaints. However, said Wallace, constraints on what a financial services firm can disclose about a particular customer will limit the ability to address complaints.
“It really doesn’t help,” said Wallace. “All your transactions with your financial institutions are confidential. A financial institution would be hard-pressed to say anything other than ‘Thank you for your comment.’”