Not only is it important to understand your own complaint data,
but it is also wise to review the Bureau’s analysis of complaint data.
The Bureau has made it easy for consumers to file complaints
against financial services companies and consistently maintains
that the complaint data it collects is integral to both fulfill its
mandate and guide its supervision agenda.
The Bureau’s Monthly Complaint Report highlights complaint
volumes and spotlights products by type, by state, and by financial
services company. Each month a particular state and the types of
complaints received through the Bureau database for that state are
highlighted. The Bureau continues to expand its complaint handling to include multiple products and services under its authority.
The October 2016 Monthly Complaint Report shows the highest
increases in the number of complaints related to student loans,
bank account or services, credit cards, prepaid, consumer loans,
and debt collection respectively. No bank or financial services
company wants to be on this list. Regularly reviewing the report
will help identify whether your bank may have similar types of
complaints that require attention and corrective action.
Never have policies and procedures become more essential to
a strong operational environment, robust compliance management system, and an effective consumer complaint management program. Clear articulation of what, how, when, and
why something is being done will help employees perform
their jobs to their fullest and will help them understand and
better explain when something doesn’t go as planned. There
is nothing more frustrating for a customer with a complaint
than the person at the other end of the conversation not understanding or not being able to accurately and confidently
respond to the issue.
It is also critical that the bank has documented procedures
for the complaint management process and that employees understand these procedures. The Bureau has published objectives for its examination of the consumer complaint response
process that infer what must be included in a bank’s complaint
management program. In meeting these objectives, the Bureau
will review consumer complaints it receives directly, in addition
to complaints received by the bank’s prudential regulator, state
When complaints happen, they provide an opportunity to correct a problem,
improve a product, or make sure that communications with customers are
clear whether in person or through advertising and marketing messages.