Customer Complaints & the CFPB

Did you know that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) doesn’t verify all the facts alleged in these complaints? There have been well over 150,000 complaints so far and the numbers are growing!

The CFPB uses this data (the complaint) against financial institutions for emerging trends relating to financial services products, including reasons for those complaints and they are recording any actions the financial institutions are taking to resolve these complaints. And, your Institution’s response is being compared to other financial institution’s responses.

Here are just a few of the questions you might be asking:

  • Do you need to respond to every complaint?
  • How soon do you need to respond – time requirements?
  • What are the Top Complaint filed by consumers against Financial Intitutions?
  • What does the CFPB consider “reviewing all relevant information?”
  • If we got this dispute through the credit bureau and handled, do we have to respond to the CFPB?
  • What if we are a community bank and are not regulated by the CFPB?


  • Taking complaints over the phone, in person, over the web. Not all employees are good at handling issues and shouldn’t be your point of contact!
  • Should you consolidate all complaints into one central place or should we route to each department, branch, etc…
  • What are our time requirements? Can we meet or beat those deadlines?
  • Are all complaints and customers equal? When should we expedite the complaint and who makes that decision?
  • Are we getting the same complaint for the same product and is there anything we can do about it?
  • If we have taken some media hits, what can we do immediately to improve our image?
  • Tracking the results and our ability to resolve issues will go a long way in becoming compliant, reducing future complaints, and improving regulatory agency relations.


Compliance Officers, Director of Customer Service, General Counsel, Audit Executives, Information Officers, Risk Officers, Branch Managers, Head Tellers, and anyone dealing with complaints in person, over the phone, over the internet, etc.


Greg Souther is President of Greg Souther Consulting & Seminars (www.gregsouther.com) a firm that provides training and consulting to Financial Institutions in the following areas: Customer Service & Communication; Credit, Collection, & Compliance; Fraud Prevention & Information Security; and Marketing & Sales.

With over 28 years of training and speaking experience, Greg and his associates share practical “how to” advice that everyone can easily understand and use in their daily work environment.

Greg was Co-Owner and Manager of The Credit Bureaus of Southeast Georgia, the parent company for six Credit Reporting and Collection Agencies based in Brunswick, Georgia. Other Management, Marketing, and Human Resource experience includes Credifax, formerly the Credit Bureau of Jacksonville, the Credit Bureau of Valdosta, and the Credit Bureau of Athens.

Credit Information

Institute of Certified Bankers: Visit http://www.icbmembers.org/login.aspx for instructions regarding self-reporting. Estimated credits: 2.5 CE Credits.


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