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Monday, July 23, 2012

ABA: CFPB Should Not Publish Unreliable Complaint Data

ABA in a comment letter told the CFPB that it should not publish unreliable data on complaints about noncredit-card financial products that will mislead rather than inform consumers.

ABA was commenting on the CFPB’s proposed policy statement on the disclosure of noncredit-card product complaint data that would give the public online database access and allow complaints to be identified by issuer. It is the same as the final policy statement the bureau adopted separately for credit card complaint data on June 19.
We find the bureau’s decision to publish details of complaints which it correctly characterizes as unverified and therefore unreliable, to be contrary to its mission to help consumers ‘with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions’ and inconsistent with its proclamations to be data-driven.
The association noted that the CFPB has taken some steps to more accurately categorize complaint resolution data. However, publishing the identity of an issuer or other covered person in connection with individual complaint data “still results in the association of that entity with unsubstantiated and unwarranted criticism that will misinform rather than enlighten consumers,” ABA said.

Read the letter.

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