Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data, 37616-37617 [2012-15161]

Download as PDF 37616 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 121 Friday, June 22, 2012 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Chapter X [Docket No. CFPB–2012–0023] Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Notice of proposed policy statement. AGENCY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the ‘‘Bureau’’) is requesting comment on a proposed policy statement regarding the Bureau’s disclosure of data from consumer complaints about financial products and services other than credit cards. Concurrent with the present notice, the Bureau is separately finalizing a Policy Statement (the ‘‘Policy Statement’’) describing its plans to disclose consumer credit card complaint data. The present notice (the ‘‘Concurrent Notice’’) describes the Bureau’s plan to duplicate the data disclosure practices described in the Policy Statement for consumer complaints about other consumer financial services products and services within the Bureau’s jurisdiction. SUMMARY: Comments in response to the Concurrent Notice are due on or before July 19, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments in response to the Concurrent Notice, identified by Docket No. CFPB–2012– 0023, by any of the following methods: • Electronic: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552. Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of information and other comments. Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters wreier-aviles on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:18 Jun 21, 2012 Jkt 226001 are encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all submissions received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov. In addition, submissions will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435– 7275. All submissions, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and will be subject to public disclosure. Do not include sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, such as name and address information, email addresses, or telephone numbers. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Pluta, Office of Consumer Response, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435–7306; or Will Wade-Gery, Division of Research, Markets and Regulations, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at (202) 435–7700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. Credit Card Policy Statement On December 8, 2011, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the ‘‘Bureau’’) published in the Federal Register a proposed policy statement describing its plans to disclose data about the credit card complaints that consumers submit to the Bureau. After receiving and considering a number of comments, the Bureau has now finalized its plans for credit card complaint disclosure. To provide guidance to the public, including industry participants, those credit cardspecific plans are being published in final form (the ‘‘Policy Statement’’) at the same time as this Concurrent Notice. As described in the Policy Statement, the Bureau will disclose data about credit card complaints in two ways. First, the Bureau will issue its own periodic reports about credit card complaint data. Second, the Bureau will provide public access to an electronic database (the ‘‘public database’’) containing certain fields for each unique credit card complaint. Together these PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 disclosures are intended to help provide consumers and others with ‘‘timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions’’ and to enhance the credit card market’s ability to ‘‘operate transparently and efficiently.’’ 1 It is this two-part system that the present Concurrent Notice proposes to duplicate for other consumer complaints. B. Complaint System The Bureau’s Office of Consumer Response (‘‘Consumer Response’’) launched a system for accepting and processing credit card complaints in July 2011.2 In December 2011, Consumer Response expanded this system (the ‘‘Complaint System’’) to include mortgages. This year, Consumer Response has further expanded the Complaint System to cover certain other consumer loans as well as bank products such as checking and savings accounts, check cashing services, and remittance services. The Bureau expects that the Complaint System, before the end of 2012, will accept and handle complaints about all consumer financial products and services within the Bureau’s jurisdiction. Consumers submit complaints to Consumer Response in several ways, including via the Bureau’s Web site, http://www.consumerfinance.gov. The different methods of submission do not vary by the product or service identified in a complaint. Thus, the online intake process is common across complaints addressed to different products, with consumers asked to complete an effectively identical series of data fields, including contact information, the name of the financial services company involved, and the type of issue involved. The process for handling the complaints that are received is also common across complaints directed to different products and services. Complaints are authenticated and forwarded to the company involved. Companies may then respond in detail, and are instructed to categorize the nature of their response pursuant to detailed guidance that Consumer Response provides institutions participating in the Complaint System. Consumers may dispute the adequacy of 1 12 U.S.C. 5511(b)(1) & (5). Bureau receives consumer complaints under the terms of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 2 The E:\FR\FM\22JNP1.SGM 22JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 121 / Friday, June 22, 2012 / Proposed Rules a company’s response and can log on to the Complaint System to review the progress of their complaints through the system.3 These procedures do not vary by the product or service that is the subject of a complaint. II. Proposed Extension of Policy Statement To Apply to Other Complaint Data As a general matter, the Bureau believes that the basic structure of the credit card complaint data disclosure policy, including the public database, can appropriately be duplicated for other consumer products and services in addition to credit cards.4 As a result, the Bureau is proposing that the two-part complaint data disclosure system described in the Policy Statement be extended to cover complaint data about these other products and services. The same purposes underlying the credit card complaint data Policy Statement apply to its extension to complaint data about other products. The authority to disclose the data in the public database and in the Bureau’s own reporting is also the same. The Bureau’s plans to publish its own reports on complaint data apply, without any needed adjustment, across all products and services.5 In addition, as discussed above, the Complaint System is effectively identical across products, which means that the same fields can be disclosed in the public database without regard to the precise product or service that is the subject of a given complaint. The general issues raised by narrative field disclosure are also common across products or services. The same privacy concerns that led the Bureau to withhold credit card complaint narratives pending further analysis exist for complaint narratives involving other products and services. Thus, the only wreier-aviles on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 3 Complaints may also be subject to further investigation by Consumer Response or follow-up by other parts of the Bureau. The Complaint System is described in more detail in a number of Bureau reports, including the Consumer Response Annual Report for 2011 (March 31, 2012) at http:// files.consumerfinance.gov/f/ 201204_cfpb_ConsumerResponseAnnualReport.pdf, the Semi-Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (January 30, 2012) at http:// www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/semi-annualreport-of-the-consumer-financial-protectionbureau/, and the Consumer Response Interim Report on CFPB’s Credit Card Complaint Data (November 30, 2011) at http:// www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/consumerresponse-interim-report-on-cfpbs-credit-cardcomplaint-data. 4 In comments made in response to the proposed credit card complaint data disclosure policy statement, several consumer and privacy groups supported expanding the policy to cover other products as well. 5 Several of the Bureau’s published reports on complaints already include data on mortgagerelated complaints. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:18 Jun 21, 2012 Jkt 226001 public database field that the Bureau plans to develop further in connection with extending its disclosure policy to complaints about other products and services would be the field to identify the type of product or service involved.6 With that one development, the existing policy can be extended to complaint data about other products and services. As a result, the Bureau proposes to duplicate the existing credit card complaint data disclosure system— which is described in detail in the Policy Statement—for all other consumer financial products and services within the Bureau’s jurisdiction. This Concurrent Notice, therefore, does not provide any separate text for a proposed policy statement to apply to complaint data across all products or services. Comments received in connection with finalizing the Policy Statement will be considered with respect to the application of the Policy Statement to other products. The Bureau has carefully considered all comments that would apply to disclosure of complaint information generally, and has addressed them in the final Policy Statement.7 The Bureau therefore seeks comments that are specific to the proposed extension of the policy for one or more new product areas. Finally, the Bureau notes that any extension of the disclosure system for other complaint data would not be finalized until the Bureau is able to consider whatever adjustments might be necessary in light of operational experience and to address comments received in response to this Concurrent Notice. In addition, any such extension might be phased in at different times for different products. Authority: 12 U.S.C. 5492(a), 5493(b)(3)(C), 5496(c)(4), 5511(b)(1), (5), 5512(c)(3)(B). Dated: June 15, 2012. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. [FR Doc. 2012–15161 Filed 6–21–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P 6 Technically, this field already exists in the public database. At this point, however, it does not give reviewers meaningful information because all the complaints in the public database concern a single product, namely credit cards. 7 Although trade groups opposed the current system, several noted that their comments applied generally to the public disclosure of any consumer complaint data. In fact, the Bureau received comments from several mortgage trade associations, which noted the Bureau’s indication that credit card complaint disclosures might provide a model for subsequent disclosure of complaint data about other products. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 37617 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1926 [Docket No. OSHA–2011–0184] RIN 1218–AC65 Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Head Protection Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments. AGENCY: OSHA is proposing to revise the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards regarding requirements for head protection. OSHA is updating the references in its standards to recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, and is deleting the 1986 edition of that national consensus standard because it is out of date. OSHA also is including the construction industry in this rulemaking to ensure consistency among the Agency’s standards. OSHA is publishing a direct final rule in today’s Federal Register taking this same action. DATES: Submit comments to this proposal (including comments to the information-collection (paperwork) determination described under the section titled Procedural Determinations), hearing requests, and other information by July 23, 2012. All submissions must bear a postmark or provide other evidence of the submission date. (The following section titled ADDRESSES describes methods available for making submissions.) ADDRESSES: Submit comments, hearing requests, and other information as follows: • Electronic. Submit comments electronically to http:// www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments. • Facsimile. OSHA allows facsimile transmission of comments and hearing requests that are 10 pages or fewer in length (including attachments). Send these documents to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–1648; OSHA does not require hard copies of these documents. Instead of transmitting SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22JNP1.SGM 22JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 121 (Friday, June 22, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37616-37617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15161]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 121 / Friday, June 22, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 37616]]



BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

12 CFR Chapter X

[Docket No. CFPB-2012-0023]


Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data

AGENCY: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION: Notice of proposed policy statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the ``Bureau'') 
is requesting comment on a proposed policy statement regarding the 
Bureau's disclosure of data from consumer complaints about financial 
products and services other than credit cards. Concurrent with the 
present notice, the Bureau is separately finalizing a Policy Statement 
(the ``Policy Statement'') describing its plans to disclose consumer 
credit card complaint data. The present notice (the ``Concurrent 
Notice'') describes the Bureau's plan to duplicate the data disclosure 
practices described in the Policy Statement for consumer complaints 
about other consumer financial services products and services within 
the Bureau's jurisdiction.

DATES: Comments in response to the Concurrent Notice are due on or 
before July 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments in response to the Concurrent 
Notice, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2012-0023, by any of the 
following methods:
     Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Monica Jackson, Office of the 
Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.
    Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of 
information and other comments. Because paper mail in the Washington, 
DC area and at the Bureau is subject to delay, commenters are 
encouraged to submit comments electronically. In general, all 
submissions received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, submissions will be available for 
public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 
20552, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 
p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents 
by telephoning (202) 435-7275.
    All submissions, including attachments and other supporting 
materials, will become part of the public record and will be subject to 
public disclosure. Do not include sensitive personal information, such 
as account numbers or Social Security numbers. Comments will not be 
edited to remove any identifying or contact information, such as name 
and address information, email addresses, or telephone numbers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Pluta, Office of Consumer 
Response, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435-7306; 
or Will Wade-Gery, Division of Research, Markets and Regulations, 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Credit Card Policy Statement

    On December 8, 2011, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection 
(the ``Bureau'') published in the Federal Register a proposed policy 
statement describing its plans to disclose data about the credit card 
complaints that consumers submit to the Bureau. After receiving and 
considering a number of comments, the Bureau has now finalized its 
plans for credit card complaint disclosure. To provide guidance to the 
public, including industry participants, those credit card-specific 
plans are being published in final form (the ``Policy Statement'') at 
the same time as this Concurrent Notice.
    As described in the Policy Statement, the Bureau will disclose data 
about credit card complaints in two ways. First, the Bureau will issue 
its own periodic reports about credit card complaint data. Second, the 
Bureau will provide public access to an electronic database (the 
``public database'') containing certain fields for each unique credit 
card complaint. Together these disclosures are intended to help provide 
consumers and others with ``timely and understandable information to 
make responsible decisions about financial transactions'' and to 
enhance the credit card market's ability to ``operate transparently and 
efficiently.'' \1\ It is this two-part system that the present 
Concurrent Notice proposes to duplicate for other consumer complaints.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 12 U.S.C. 5511(b)(1) & (5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Complaint System

    The Bureau's Office of Consumer Response (``Consumer Response'') 
launched a system for accepting and processing credit card complaints 
in July 2011.\2\ In December 2011, Consumer Response expanded this 
system (the ``Complaint System'') to include mortgages. This year, 
Consumer Response has further expanded the Complaint System to cover 
certain other consumer loans as well as bank products such as checking 
and savings accounts, check cashing services, and remittance services. 
The Bureau expects that the Complaint System, before the end of 2012, 
will accept and handle complaints about all consumer financial products 
and services within the Bureau's jurisdiction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The Bureau receives consumer complaints under the terms of 
Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection 
Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consumers submit complaints to Consumer Response in several ways, 
including via the Bureau's Web site, http://www.consumerfinance.gov. 
The different methods of submission do not vary by the product or 
service identified in a complaint. Thus, the online intake process is 
common across complaints addressed to different products, with 
consumers asked to complete an effectively identical series of data 
fields, including contact information, the name of the financial 
services company involved, and the type of issue involved. The process 
for handling the complaints that are received is also common across 
complaints directed to different products and services. Complaints are 
authenticated and forwarded to the company involved. Companies may then 
respond in detail, and are instructed to categorize the nature of their 
response pursuant to detailed guidance that Consumer Response provides 
institutions participating in the Complaint System. Consumers may 
dispute the adequacy of

[[Page 37617]]

a company's response and can log on to the Complaint System to review 
the progress of their complaints through the system.\3\ These 
procedures do not vary by the product or service that is the subject of 
a complaint.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Complaints may also be subject to further investigation by 
Consumer Response or follow-up by other parts of the Bureau. The 
Complaint System is described in more detail in a number of Bureau 
reports, including the Consumer Response Annual Report for 2011 
(March 31, 2012) at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201204_cfpb_ConsumerResponseAnnualReport.pdf, the Semi-Annual Report of 
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (January 30, 2012) at 
http://www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/semi-annual-report-of-the-consumer-financial-protection-bureau/, and the Consumer Response 
Interim Report on CFPB's Credit Card Complaint Data (November 30, 
2011) at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/consumer-response-interim-report-on-cfpbs-credit-card-complaint-data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Proposed Extension of Policy Statement To Apply to Other Complaint 
Data

    As a general matter, the Bureau believes that the basic structure 
of the credit card complaint data disclosure policy, including the 
public database, can appropriately be duplicated for other consumer 
products and services in addition to credit cards.\4\ As a result, the 
Bureau is proposing that the two-part complaint data disclosure system 
described in the Policy Statement be extended to cover complaint data 
about these other products and services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ In comments made in response to the proposed credit card 
complaint data disclosure policy statement, several consumer and 
privacy groups supported expanding the policy to cover other 
products as well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The same purposes underlying the credit card complaint data Policy 
Statement apply to its extension to complaint data about other 
products. The authority to disclose the data in the public database and 
in the Bureau's own reporting is also the same. The Bureau's plans to 
publish its own reports on complaint data apply, without any needed 
adjustment, across all products and services.\5\ In addition, as 
discussed above, the Complaint System is effectively identical across 
products, which means that the same fields can be disclosed in the 
public database without regard to the precise product or service that 
is the subject of a given complaint.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Several of the Bureau's published reports on complaints 
already include data on mortgage-related complaints.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The general issues raised by narrative field disclosure are also 
common across products or services. The same privacy concerns that led 
the Bureau to withhold credit card complaint narratives pending further 
analysis exist for complaint narratives involving other products and 
services. Thus, the only public database field that the Bureau plans to 
develop further in connection with extending its disclosure policy to 
complaints about other products and services would be the field to 
identify the type of product or service involved.\6\ With that one 
development, the existing policy can be extended to complaint data 
about other products and services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Technically, this field already exists in the public 
database. At this point, however, it does not give reviewers 
meaningful information because all the complaints in the public 
database concern a single product, namely credit cards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a result, the Bureau proposes to duplicate the existing credit 
card complaint data disclosure system--which is described in detail in 
the Policy Statement--for all other consumer financial products and 
services within the Bureau's jurisdiction. This Concurrent Notice, 
therefore, does not provide any separate text for a proposed policy 
statement to apply to complaint data across all products or services.
    Comments received in connection with finalizing the Policy 
Statement will be considered with respect to the application of the 
Policy Statement to other products. The Bureau has carefully considered 
all comments that would apply to disclosure of complaint information 
generally, and has addressed them in the final Policy Statement.\7\ The 
Bureau therefore seeks comments that are specific to the proposed 
extension of the policy for one or more new product areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Although trade groups opposed the current system, several 
noted that their comments applied generally to the public disclosure 
of any consumer complaint data. In fact, the Bureau received 
comments from several mortgage trade associations, which noted the 
Bureau's indication that credit card complaint disclosures might 
provide a model for subsequent disclosure of complaint data about 
other products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, the Bureau notes that any extension of the disclosure 
system for other complaint data would not be finalized until the Bureau 
is able to consider whatever adjustments might be necessary in light of 
operational experience and to address comments received in response to 
this Concurrent Notice. In addition, any such extension might be phased 
in at different times for different products.

    Authority:  12 U.S.C. 5492(a), 5493(b)(3)(C), 5496(c)(4), 
5511(b)(1), (5), 5512(c)(3)(B).

    Dated: June 15, 2012.
Richard Cordray,
Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2012-15161 Filed 6-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P