CFPB Complaint Portal Likely to Spread Inaccurate Information to Consumers

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2014

Contact: Erika Reynoso
202-589-2410

CFPB Complaint Portal Likely to Spread Inaccurate Information to Consumers

Government websites should be reserved for facts; FSR launches digital campaign

Washington, DC— The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) launched a multimedia campaign today highlighting a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plan that may misinform consumers by posting unverified, anonymous and potentially inaccurate complaints about financial services companies on a government website.

“The CFPB’s plan will feature only one side of the story, and such one-sided accounts will not advance the CFPB’s mission of better informing and helping consumers,” said FSR President & CEO Tim Pawlenty.

FSR’s campaign includes advertising in DC metro stations, as well as a social media ad buy. FSR will also be releasing a digital feature every day this week highlighting the problems that the CFPB’s rushed plan poses to consumers.

The CFPB will allow complaints to be posted on its government website, but give the named companies little opportunity to respond. The complaints may be inaccurate and may not tell the whole story.

The CFPB’s 2013 Consumer Response Report, which collected statistics on based the bureau’s current complaint system, demonstrates the volume of misleading information consumers could receive. For instance, last year alone, nearly 70 percent of all complaints filed were closed with a simple or clarification to the customer.

The CFPB has fast-tracked the start date of this project, leaving many important questions, such as how the CFPB plans to protect the identities of individuals who post on the website from Freedom of Information Act and other public records requests. Many other key details, such as how the CFPB will verify that the customers are who they say they are, and a range of other questions about how the system will work still haven’t been disclosed.

FSR and its member companies are committed to continued collaboration with lawmakers and the federal government to ensure the nation’s financial system remains strong, safe and dependable for American consumers.

For more information, contact Erika Reynoso at 202-589-2410 or at Erika.Reynoso@fsroundtable.org

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The Financial Services Roundtable represents the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, payment and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO. FSR member companies provide fuel for America’s economic engine, accounting for $92.7 trillion in managed assets, $1.2 trillion in revenue, and 2.3 million jobs. Learn more at FSRoundtable.org.

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