Last month, Representative Matt Salmon from Arizona introduced a new bill to Congress known as the CFPB Data Accountability Act, which would—among other changes—require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to begin verifying the complaints they receive before displaying them on their online public database.
“We owe it to the American people to make this information as accurate and as clear as possible,” said Rep. Salmon in his press release. “Unfortunately, the current database is disorganized and does little to provide the American people with important information to inform their decision-making.”
If eventually enacted, the new bill would amend Section 1013(b)(3) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by adding the following provisions:
(E) WEBSITE REQUIREMENTS – In establishing and maintaining the website described under subparagraph (A), the Bureau shall comply with the following:
(i) AGGREGATED FORMAT – With respect to consumer complaint information obtained by the Bureau under this paragraph, the Bureau may only make such information available to the public on the website in an aggregated format and after taking steps to ensure that proprietary, personal, or confidential consumer information is not made public on such website.
(ii) VERIFICATION REQUIREMENT – The Bureau shall verify any consumer complaint information included under clause (i) where the complaint alleges a violation of a law, regulation, or contractual agreement between a consumer and a covered person who offered or provided the consumer financial product or service to the consumer.
(iii) REPORT OF COMPLAINT PERCENTAGES – With respect to consumer complaint information about a particular consumer financial product or service, the Bureau may only make such information available to the public on the website if the Bureau accompanies such information with statistics on how many consumer complaints the Bureau receives with respect to the particular consumer financial product or service compared to the total number of consumers making use of such consumer financial product or service.
(iv) QUALITY, OBJECTIVITY, UTILITY, AND INTEGRITY OF INFORMATION – The Bureau shall comply with all guidelines issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to section 515 of H.R. 5658, as enacted by section 1(a)(3) of the Consolidation Appropriations Act, 2001.
“My bill would improve the current database by requiring the CFPB to verify the facts of each complaint and present this information in an aggregated format so that consumers have better access to CFPB-collected data and can make better decisions about their financial futures,” added Salmon.
The new CFBP Data Accountability Act is currently set for review by the House Financial Services Committee. For more information, or to view the proposed bill in its entirety, click here.