On August 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a Notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on a proposal to expand the information it gathers for its consumer complaint database to include complaint disposition information from consumers. This new information would include a 1–5 rating by the consumer as well as a narrative block. The proposal, however, does not include a data field for businesses to describe the relief provided, if any, or to otherwise respond to a consumer’s statements.
The CFPB characterizes this new information as a tool to permit the CFPB and other enforcement and regulatory agencies to assess efforts to remediate consumer complaints. Financial institutions and other businesses that may come within the ambit of this database, however, should be concerned that a one-sided consumer comment opportunity creates a cost-free, sortable, and mineable trove of possible cases for other regulatory and law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, as well as plaintiffs’ lawyers seeking class action plaintiffs.