Alert June 26, 2012

CFPB Launches Searchable Credit Card Complaint Database

The CFPB will publically share the credit card complaints it receives from consumers. The CFPB issued its final policy statement on this subject simultaneously with a notice of proposed policy statement covering complaint data on other products and services. The final policy statement, effective June 19, 2012, lays out two methods for sharing credit card complaint information: (1) a searchable database that will be available to the public through the CFPB’s website, and (2) the publication of periodic reports. In the final policy statement, the CFPB disagreed with commenters that raised concerns that disclosing the credit card issuer’s name would cause substantial competitive harm to the credit card issuers, stating that credit card issuers’ names are not exempt “confidential commercial information” under the Freedom of Information Act. For the time being, the CFPB has decided not to include consumer narratives until it has had an opportunity to fully assess any related privacy risks. The CFPB also revealed its plan to extend its credit card data disclosure practices to complaints on other consumer financial products and services by the end of the year in its proposed policy statement. Click here for the related press release.