Allyson Baker was quoted on March 2, 2018, in Law360 about the CFPB's efforts to gain businesses' and public groups' opinions on the agency's complaint reporting structure. More than a dozen suggested topics for feedback were whether the agency should continue publishing the names of companies with the most complaints and whether it should tweak its reporting methodology to provide more context or complaint information.
Ms. Baker told Law360 she has heard from consumer financial services clients who feel the database and reports sometimes provide a misleading picture about their interactions with consumers.
"There’s a sense that they'd like a better understanding of what the bureau's doing with this and how the bureau thinks about this, and they'd like the bureau to give a more comprehensive relative perspective," said Ms. Baker.
According to Baker, the database has been a source of concern in part because complaints aren't fact-checked by the agency, yet posting them on the CFPB's database may nevertheless lend them a measure of validity.
The agency's reports, meanwhile, don't always provide enough contextual data to give readers a sense of scale of a given company's complaints relative to its market share and segment of the industry, said Ms. Baker. How significantly the agency might seek to change the database and its reports remains to be seen, though Baker cautions against drawing too many conclusions from the RFI — in her view, it’s possible the agency may decide not to take any next steps.