BCFP Ombudsman Midyear Update: Interacting with Industry and Consumers
The office debuted its new Ombudsman Interactive pilot program this year, which was a featured event at ACA International’s Washington Insights Conference.
8/8/2018 1:30 PM
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Ombudsman Office is continuing its focus on interacting with consumers and industry groups, including ACA International.
Ombudsman Wendy Kamenshine issued the office’s 2018 Midyear Update with news on obtaining consumer complaint responses and its Ombudsman Forum and Interactive programs this week.
The Ombudsman Interactive program, which was part of ACA International’s Washington Insights Conference in May, provided members with an exclusive opportunity to hear from representatives of the ombudsman’s office and to discuss topics of interest to companies and the industry.
The office also held an Ombudsman Forum, similar to the interactive program, in Washington, D.C. in June facilitating discussions on:
- Current process considerations with regulatory compliance, including emerging topics such as fintech, privacy and data;
- The consumer complaint process;
- Supervision and enforcement processes;
- Building on the bureau’s current resources and programs, such as with financial education and guidance to industry;
- Industry’s perspective on managing company risk while optimizing bureau engagement; and
- New and emerging process topics in 2018 and going forward.
Overall, in the first six months of this year, the ombudsman has received 680 inquiries from companies, individuals, consumer and trade groups.
The role of the ombudsman’s office is to provide independent, impartial and confidential resources for consumers, banks and nonbanks in resolving issues with the bureau. In that role, it also makes recommendations to the bureau.
For example, this year individuals contacted the office when, after filing a consumer complaint with the BCFP, the company determined that the individual was not authorized to receive information about the complaint, according to the report.
“We provided recommendations to the bureau to clarify how individuals can use the consumer complaint process to provide the necessary authorization documents to the company, as relevant,” according to the report.
The ombudsman will release its complete annual report toward the end of the year with more details on these topics. It will also hold its next Ombudsman Forum with consumer groups in September in Oakland, Calif.
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