CFPB’s consumer complaint database
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Analysis reveals valuable insights
With the Dodd-Frank Act’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2010, lawmakers signaled the beginning of a new era in consumer protection. The CFPB's subsequent introduction of the Consumer Complaint Database in July 2012 underscored the CFPB's intent to fulfill two core objectives: enforcing federal consumer protection laws more vigorously and analyzing consumers, financial services providers and market activities.
More than two years after the CFPB began collecting complaint data (see "How the Consumer Complaint Database Works"), the Consumer Complaint Database is now a public repository of over 100,000 consumer complaints. It's a rich resource for CFPB analysts and financial institutions searching for emerging trends about consumer complaints relating to financial services products, including reasons for those complaints and actions financial institutions are taking to resolve them.
To date, attention on the database has focused on comparing financial institution performance. However, Deloitte’s analysis has produced a number of valuable insights about the nature and sources of recent complaints, including:
- Troubled mortgages are behind the majority of the complaints – a growing trend
- Customer misunderstanding may create more complaints than financial institution error
- Affluent, established neighborhoods were more likely sources of complaints
- Complaint resolution times have improved
A closer look at these observations can help financial institutions understand their own internal complaint issues and databases as they relate to data from Consumer Complaint Database, and use the resulting
insights to potentially improve their regulatory compliance efforts, customer experience, and their own operational effectiveness.