CFPB’s New Proposal, As Explained By Mean Girls

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently proposed publicly displaying unverified, anonymous consumer complaints against financial services companies on its website.

Here are five reasons why the proposal is a terrible idea.


1) Complaints are anonymous and not vetted before they are posted.  That will make it very difficult for businesses to resolve problems, especially if they may not exist.

(gif source great imaginations)

Anonymous complaints on the Internet? Take a second to think about how reddit4Chan and Anonymous work. Everything you read on these sites has to be taken with a grain – make that a rock –of salt. One well-known review website alone receives roughly six subpoenas each month from business owners who allege that anonymous users have written completely unfounded claims that are damaging their business.


2)  A government website will house the complaint site, which could make it appear they endorse all the complaints.

(gif via thirteen tumblrs)


3) The CFPB investigates mortgage-related complaints using its current complaint portal, which doesn’t publicly post anonymous, unverified complaints. About 8 out of 10 are tossed out.

(gif via thoughtcatalog)

In fact, out of all the mortgage complaints, which make up the majority of CFPB’s financial services related complaints,  77% are closed with a simple explanation or clarification to the consumer, without relief of any sort. (Source: CFPB 2013 Annual Report)


4) Financial Institutions won’t be able to accurately help the customer find a solution because they won’t have access to customer data, due to privacy laws. They also can’t defend the reputation of their businesses, and both of these cases will likely pop up without any forewarning.

(gif via ishmel 36)


5) Anyone anywhere in the world, including a non-customer, can accuse the financial industry of almost anything while the financial company won’t have the means to respond.


Apart from that, the CFPB is trying to move this proposal into action after a 30-day comment period. The CFPB also hasn’t fully studied how they will actually keep user data anonymous from public requests. Why the big rush?

We hope the CFPB will work with American businesses to further elaborate on the significant problems this proposal could raise for both employers and consumers.

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