Banks Can’t Wait to Wipe This Complaints Database

A seemingly benign catalogue of consumer complaints is one of banks' biggest gripes.

News Story (NATIONAL, New York)

Shahien Nasiripour
February 8, 2017

Tags: Consumer Protection

Organizations mentioned/involved: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), South Brooklyn Legal Services


Johnson Tyler, a longtime legal aid attorney in Brooklyn, often spends his days battling financial companies on behalf of aggrieved low-income clients. Not much has changed in the wake of the Great Recession, despite new federal rules meant to better protect households from financial misconduct, except in one area: When Tyler complains about a large company, the company actually responds.

“It’s the biggest change” Tyler says he has noticed in the consumer finance industry since the 2007-09 financial crisis. The reason is simple: a government-maintained public database that collects consumers’ complaints, tracks companies’ responses, and records whether consumers ended up satisfied.

The consumer complaint database, created by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, may be the part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that has had the biggest tangible impact on American households, some consumer advocates say.