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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB Monthly Complaint Report Highlights Bank Account and Service Complaints

CFPB Consumer Complaints

Consumer Finance

The CFPB recently issued its monthly report of consumer complaint trends for August. The report spotlights complaints regarding bank accounts and account services, noting that issues related to checking accounts are among the most common complaint (64%). Specifically, the report highlights consumer complaints about the increasing use of credit reporting data to screen customers prior to account opening, with consumers often complaining that they learn of negative reporting information for the first time when trying to open an account and that they have difficulty addressing potential reporting errors. The report also describes consumer frustration with overdraft fees, including when such fees are incurred for small-dollar purchases. Consumers also expressed confusion over eligibility requirements for promotional offers when opening new accounts, and submitted complaints involving “disputes over whether the consumer had met the required terms for a promotional offer.” In addition, the report noted concerns about financial institutions’ error resolution processes, including concerns with drawn-out response times for disputed transactions. 

As usual, the August report features a geographic spotlight, this time focusing on complaint trends in Ohio generally and the Columbus metro area specifically. The report noted that 29,400 of the 954,000 complaints received as of August 1, 2016 came from Ohio-based consumers, and that consistent with the national trend, Ohio consumers most often submit complaints about debt collection (28%). Mortgage-related and credit reporting complaints follow as the second and third most-complained-about products, respectively, in both Ohio and Columbus.

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