Patt Morrison for June 19, 2012

Bank bashing site or consumer watchdog? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launches first ever credit-card complaints database

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Visa credit cards are arranged on a desk February 25, 2008 in San Francisco, California.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched its first ever beta site for credit card complaints today.

The database compiles all the complaints it’s received about credit card companies since June 1 and plans to eventually include banks, mortgages, and student loan handlers. So far the most common complaints appear to be about billing disputes and difficulty opening and closing accounts, and the most commonly complained about bank is Capital One. The bureau hopes the transparency of the site will help consumers to navigate the credit card industry but financial industry trade groups are warning that the website’s unverified data will do more to mislead than to inform consumers; the American Bankers Association said in a statement that “publishing allegations is often different than publishing facts.”

American Bankers Association Statement on CFPB Credit Card Complaint Database

WEIGH IN:

Will this be a bash-a-bank website, or something more productive? What kind of difference will it make in the lives of ordinary credit card customers?

Guest:

Pedro Morillas, legislative director for CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group)

Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs, The Financial Services Roundtable, a financial industry trade group


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