CFPB compliance

Complying with CFPB Regulations for Customer Service

Customer service complaints are nothing new, especially for large companies. After all, it is not possible to please all customers at all times. Even the best and most successful companies have their share of customer complaint handling to engage in. But it’s what you do with those customer complaints that makes a world of difference. Sometimes even a legal difference.

The CFPB’s Requirements

Those who work in the financial industry are likely aware of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal agency tasked with protecting consumers in the financial industry. Complying with CFPB regulations has become an important activity for financial service providers and their vendors. The CFPB has created a database so that consumers can file a complaint with the bureau directly, and know that something will be done.

Financial institutions, both banks and non-banks, are required to comply with the regulations of the CFPB, including those for customer complaint handling. Their guidelines include that financial institutes handle customer service complaints by:

  • Recording every complaint that is received, so it’s important to keep good records
  • Categorizing each complaint so that it is easier to track and assess trends and areas of risk
  • Addressing each complaint promptly and escalating those which involve legal issues

Quick Response Time

CFPB Compliance 101 Cheat Sheet

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When consumers file a financial customer complaint with the CFPB, whether it’s regarding late fees, interest, collection practices, or something else, there are additional regulations that apply. The CFPB will communicate with the financial institute that has received the complaint. The company in question then has 15 days to respond and let the CFPB know how it will address the complaint.¬†Of all the complaints that the CFPB receives, 80 per cent of them are sent to the financial service provider in question for an appropriate response within the 15-day deadline.

With the CFPB stepping in to help protect consumers, some companies’ customer complaint handling records have made headlines. One such company to come under scrutiny for their poor handling of customer complaints is Sallie Mae, about which a CFPB official said: “Sallie Mae ranks the worst in borrower, school, and federal personnel satisfaction.”

Ensuring your customer complaint handling systems and policies are strong and fair will go a long way to keep you out of the headlines and the sights of the CFPB.

Complying with CFPB Regulations

Not only is customer complaint handling important from a business stand-point, but it is also important from a legal one. Companies in the financial sector will want to ensure that they follow the customer complaint handling regulations set forth by the CFPB in order to avoid problems. It is important that those who handle the customer complaints within the company be up to speed on the regulations, have the system in place, and act on it accordingly. Once this happens your customer service will not only be addressing your customer needs, but it will also ensure you are compliant with the government.

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