CFPB credit card complaint database could be misleading and damaging

Following the reveal of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s credit card complaint database, concerned banking industry groups have spoken out against a system that could be flawed and misleading.

The database unveiled last Tuesday by the CFPB allows consumers to report issues with credit card companies regarding interest rates, billing disputes, identity theft and other matters. Between July 2011 and May 2012, the database logged approximately 17,000 complaints, of which only 137 records are searchable, Daily Finance reports.

The American Bankers Association, along with the Consumers Bankers Association and National Association of Federal Credit Unions, however, have spoken out against the database. The ABA maintains that of the 383 million active credit cards in America, less than one percent have submitted a complaint to the CFPB.

While the consumer’s data regarding the complaint remains hidden, only the issuing bank is listed, along with the complaint data. The CBA said that “there are many complaints that at the end of the day are not justified,” adding that, with the unjustified accusations, “there is a significant chance of a reputational hit,” according to Daily Finance.

NAFCU echoed those concerns, saying that “given the nature of viral media, disclosing all complaints may paint a misleading picture and trigger reputational risks for solid institutions that could raise safety and soundness concerns for the financial institutions in question,” Daily Finance reports.