WASHINGTON (11/26/14)--A review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from the agency's ombudsman has been released, highlighting several issues from 2014.
CFPB Ombudsman Wendy Kamenshine said the report aims to highlight ways the ombudsman has resolved process issues with the bureau throughout 2014.
includes inquiries by consumers, financial entities, trade associations and through internal engagement with bureau staff.
The number of inquiries to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ombudsman in FY2014 compared with FY2013, sorted by category. (CFPB Graphic)
The ombudsman received 1,133 inquiries in fiscal year 2014, down from 1,422 in fiscal year 2013. According to the report, nearly all of the decline is attributed to fewer consumer contacts--871 this year compared with 1,219 the year before. The number of individual inquiries from other groups increased by roughly 9% over the year before.
The bureau as a whole received roughly 240,600 consumer complaints this year, up from 144,000 the year prior.
Inquiries to the ombudsman about the CFPB included questions (41%), complaints (36%), topics of concern (14%), courtesy copies to the ombudsman (6%), and feedback on CFPB and non-CFPB topics (2%).
The ombudsman's office also reviews systemic issues that may be affecting consumers or financial institutions around the country. One of the issues reviewed in FY2014 was what information the CFPB shares with consumers about public actions and what channels are used to connect with the bureau regarding industry developments, and how that information is shared within the CFPB.
The bureau generally releases information about public actions via press release, website, a telephone contact center and, in some cases, letters to consumers.
The ombudsman recommended the bureau standardize all informational documents provided to the contact center so information can easily be found as the staff interacts with the public. It also recommended the bureau make public actions easier to find on the CFPB's homepage.
Other issues reviewed in the report include: setting expectations and the need for transparency, how the bureau shares information and a look into the CFPB caller contact center.