Last week, as part of the Consumer Protection Week series, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), which regulates the nation's savings banks, unveiled a consumer information brochure on the purchase and use of gift cards. The brochure, entitled “Consumer Fact Sheet: Buying, Giving, and Using Gift Cards,” advises consumers regarding gift cards issued by financial institutions. The brochure may be accessed at  http://www.ots.treas.gov/docs/4/480923.pdf 

The OTS also issued a consumer information brochure on how consumers can resolve complaints with financial institutions. The brochure is available at  http://www.ots.treas.gov/docs/4/480924.pdf

Finally, the OTS stressed the importance of monitoring one's credit reports. The material may be found in the “Consumer and Compliance/Consumer Inquiries” section of the OTS website at www.ots.treas.gov

In addition, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates the nation's national banks, also made available consumer protection tips via its website. The website may be found at  http://www.occ.treas.gov/consumer/ncpw.htm

Both banks and savings banks need to be familiar with the guidance that their regulators are giving the public.