The Federal Reserve Board’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has issued an evaluation of the CFPB’s Consumer Response unit, which is responsible for managing the CFPB’s consumer complaint system. First launched in July 2011 for credit card complaints, the system was expanded in November 2011 to take mortgage complaints and, earlier this year, the system was further expanded to take complaints about deposit accounts, student loans, auto loans and other consumer loans. The CFPB has said it plans to take complaints about all consumer financial products and services by the end of 2012.
One of the OIG’s tasks was to assess the CFPB’s coordination with federal and state agencies regarding the processing and referral of complaints. The OIG noted that the CFPB anticipates an increase in referrals from state agencies as the CFPB begins accepting complaints about nonbank products. According to the OIG, although the CFPB has been receiving referrals from state agencies by regular mail, the CFPB has met with state regulators to discuss the creation of secure website through which state regulators can access the complaint system and to develop other methods state agencies can use to send complaints to the CFPB. The OIG was told by the CFPB that the first version of the secure website for state agency referrals was tentatively scheduled to begin operating in the fourth quarter of 2012.