Nov 2nd 2011
By Ken Berry
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) is experiencing some "technical problems" in its infancy. Significantly, some banks have not received credit card complaints from consumers due to browser compatibility issues. But the agency has already addressed the glitches.
Jen Howard, a spokeswoman for the CFPB, isn't surprised by the growing pains. "We anticipated that we would run into the kinds of technical challenges that are inevitable in any launch and set up a rapid response team to address issues as they come up," she said in an email to the media. "A number of these issues have already been resolved and we expect that remaining technological issues will be resolved in the very near future."
The CFBP, which was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, officially "opened for business" on July 21. It is designed to provide financial protections to consumers. Credit card complaints can be registered at the CFPC Web site or by calling the toll-free number, 1-855-411-CFPB.
Initially, some financial institutions found out that complaints were delayed or not being forwarded. This can present problems to the banks if they are held accountable by customers. Callers to the hotline are supposed to receive a response from the bank within 10 days of receipt. Without notification from the CFPB, the banks aren't even aware that the complaint have been filed.
Now the CFBP has indicated that most of the problems have been resolved. On a call with industry members on August 31, it said that it will be flexible on the 10-day bank response time until additional measures are adopted. Currently, it might take up to 48 hours before a complaint is made accessible to the bank. The goal is to shorten this time to 24 hours.
The CFPB also expects to roll out a similar complaint process for financial products other than credit cards over the next several months, including loan modifications, foreclosures, and debt collections.
With offices in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, the CFBP maintains oversight of 111 depository institutions have more than $10 billion in assets, as well as their affiliates. These financial institutions hold 80 percent of the U.S. banking industry’s assets.