On March 19, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the issuance of a Final Policy Statement (“Policy Statement”) that expands its Consumer Complaint Database (“Database”) to allow consumers to publicly air the details of their alleged grievances with financial services providers by including consumer complaint narratives in the Database. The CFPB first proposed to include complaint narratives in the Database in July 2014 (“Policy Proposal”), when the agency also announced that it was accepting complaints for prepaid cards and non-bank products, such as debt settlement services. As with the Policy Proposal, the CFPB’s final issuance is proving to be controversial. For example, the Policy Statement fails to address the fact that the Bureau does not independently validate the truth of the allegations set forth in the majority of the consumer complaints it receives.
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