CFPB seeks input on customer service issues in big banks, credit unions


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a request for information on customer service at major banks and credit unions as part of a broader effort to improve relationship banking.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra solicited public comment on Tuesday to determine if customers were able to get an immediate response from 175 banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets.

Chopra said some of the big banks and credit unions don’t provide a high level of customer service when consumers are facing issues.

“Clients of large banks don’t have to go through an obstacle course to get clear answers about their accounts,” Chopra said at a town hall meeting in Great Falls, Montana, where she delivered a speech about the rural banking desert.

The Dodd-Frank Act empowers consumers to receive timely responses to requests for information about their accounts from major custodians. The RFI is asking for data on any barriers to “quality human interaction” with banks or credit unions.

Last year, the CFPB received 37,400 complaints about checking or savings accounts. Some consumers complained that it takes too long to get information from their bank, that they may find it difficult to find the information they need online, and that staff are not always aware of their status.

The CFPB wants to know how long a customer typically waits on hold to reach bank customer service, how often calls are dropped or disconnected, and whether automated systems are helpful.

The office also wants to know how bank customer service representatives are evaluated and compensated, and how compensation structures and incentives affect the services provided.

Consumers have 30 days to comment after the CFPB request is posted to the Federal Register.



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