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Fair Lending

5 Key Lessons about Consumer Complaints from the CFPB [Infographic]

August 7, 2014 | Posted by Kinsey Sullivan
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Did you know that financial institutions have responded to approximately 96 percent of complaints submitted to them by the CFPB? Read on to see more informative data points from the CFPB, and learn key insights based on this data: 

Earlier this summer, the CFPB released the annual "Consumer Response: A Snapshot of Complaints Received" report to the public. This report includes information about all the complaints they've received that year and in years prior. After reviewing the 2014 report, we've gathered some important data, and are sharing some key lessons learned:

CFPB_Snapshot_of_Complaints_-_V.2(3)

Key Lessons Learned from the Consumer Complaint Statistics

A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of a strong consumer complaint management system. These data points underscore that message. In summary, we see that:

  1. The number of complaints submitted year-over-year is increasing. From July 2013 to June 2014, the CFPB received 218,600 complaints, which is 55 percent of the all-time total. Expect that number to continue to rise, and be prepared to compete with the CFPB for the complaints.

  2. Almost a third of complaints, roughly 34 percent, submitted to the Bureau were about mortgage, followed by debt collection at 20 percent, and credit cards at 14 percent. Financial institutions will want to be sensitive to these potential problem areas.

  3. More than half of the mortgage complaints were related to problems that occurred when consumers were unable to pay, and include issues related to loan modifications, collections, foreclosures, and more. Financial institutions should be aware that consumers are most frustrated when being asked for money.

  4. Approximately 56 percent of consumer complaints are submitted online. Financial institutions must have a process to accept, manage, and even respond to online complaints. It's simply not enough to define your complaint submission process as a written letter. Know that if you don't have an online complaint process in place, it's time to start developing it.

  5. The Bureau reports that companies have responded to approximately 96 percent of complaints, and have closed 92 percent. The CFPB requests that companies respond within 15 calendar days. That means that financial institutions need to continue to handle complaints quickly if and when they are received.

TRUPOINT Viewpoint: A strong complaint management process is both beneficial to your customers and essential to the strength of your compliance program. Lenders can and must handle complaints actively. Review your complaint management process, and be particularly conscientious of how complaints are received and the timeline for responses. 

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Kinsey Sullivan

Kinsey Sullivan

After studying Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I switched to the other side of content: Marketing, Advertising and PR. At TRUPOINT, I love turning complex data and ideas into high-impact content and campaigns. In my free time, I make art, read, and listen to a lot of podcasts on long walks with my dog, Charlie "Bird" Barker.