CFPB looking at relationship banking at large institutions
On June 14, the CFPB issued a request for information (RFI) seeking public comments “related to relationship banking and how consumers can assert the right to obtain timely responses to requests for information about their accounts from banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as from their affiliates.” Section 1034(c) of the CFPA gives consumers the right to access information, including supporting written documentation, in a timely manner about their accounts from these large financial institutions. The Bureau noted in its announcement that to date, the agency “has not enforced or issued additional policy guidance under this legal provision.”
The Bureau pointed out that many large financial institutions are shifting toward algorithmic banking and moving away from relationship banking. As a result of this decline, some consumers are unable to receive customized advice, basic information, or have their problems addressed in a timely fashion, the Bureau said. The RFI seeks input on, among other things, (i) the types of information requested by consumers, how they are using this information, and what information they are unable to obtain from their banks; (ii) differences in accessing information when consumers visit in person, call, or access information online; (iii) customer service representative compensation and incentives; (iv) customer service obstacles that may adversely impact consumers’ ability to bank; (v) obstacles consumers face that adversely affect their ability to bank; (vi) unique obstacles facing immigrants, rural communities, and older consumers; (vii) call center practices; and (viii) changes in customer engagement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to examining consumers’ relationships with their depository institutions, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra stated that the Bureau intends to closely examine methods to improve the bank merger process to ensure mergers are meeting the convenience and needs of communities.
Comments on the RFI are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.