ABA questions CFPB’s disclosure of credit card complaint data

The American Bankers Association submitted a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday regarding the agency's policy statement on its disclosure of credit card complaint data.

The letter raises many concerns, including the expansive role of the bureau. The ABA's dominating concern, however, is that data collected by the agency regarding consumer complaints is unreliable and not representative of the whole.

“Given the limitations and shortcomings of the data that are likely to mislead rather than enlighten consumers and policy makers, releasing data with links to specific fields as proposed will be a disservice rather than assistance to consumers, public policy makers, and others,” the letter said.

The CFPB receives complaints from consumers regarding credit cards and plans to release the data according to number and percentage of complaints, type of complaint, and percentage of complaints resolved.

The ABA emphasized the importance of the bureau in consumer protection and education but ultimately asked the agency to reconsider its data collection techniques to provide an accurate report of consumer credit card complaints.

“We agree with the [CFPB] that reliable and accurate data are important in fulfilling the [CFPB]’s missions and goals in ensuring that consumer receive 'timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions' and helping the credit card market to 'operate transparently and efficiently,'" the letter said. "We urge the [CFPB] to obtain that analytically sound, fair, accurate, and meaningful data that can withstand peer review."

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