Check up on Credit Card Issuers Through CFPB Database
Consumers can now check up on credit card issuers on the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and find out what types of complaints have been filed against lenders as well as whether the issues were resolved within a reasonable time frame.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press briefing, “The Consumer Complaint Database is a major milestone for consumers and all those who are interested in knowing more about their day-to-day experiences.”
The beta version of the Consumer Complaint Database, up for public viewing on Tuesday, contains complaints from June 1 of this year. The CFPB has collected consumer disputes since July 2011; data collected prior to June 1, 2012 will be available for viewing once the CFPB removes the “beta” tag. Improvements to the site are anticipated, says Cordray, who expects to make changes to the “look and feel” of the site and offer more complete information on the complaints.
Cordray said, “Importantly, the database will be timely, understandable, and easily searched. You will be able to dig for information in various ways, including by company name or consumer zip code or subject matter.”
Information consumers can gather from the site include names of card issuers, the type of complaint, the zip code of the card holder, how the issue was resolved, and how long it took for lenders to deal with the issue.
The website currently has an interactive map to check on complaints by zip code, and a graph showing how card issuers handled complaints - the most common was that the account was “closed with explanation.” By scrolling the list you can see that Capital One Bank has the most complaints, followed by Citigroup - and US Bank has the fewest. There is also a pie chart showing that billing disputes are by far the most common complaint - making up nearly a quarter of all disputes, followed by disputes over APR or interest rate.
“We believe this is the first time that the general public has been able to see such individual-level consumer complaint data for financial products and services,” said Cordray. “We intend to make this data widely available to consumers, advocacy groups, businesses, policy makers, and journalists. Anyone with access to the web will be able to review and analyze the information, and draw their own conclusions.”
Cordray also emphasizes that consumers’ personal information such as names, addresses and account numbers will be kept strictly confidential. “We absolutely respect consumer privacy and confidentiality,” he said.
U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau