May 18, 2018

Peters, Warren, Brown Lead Colleagues in Call to Protect CFPB Public Consumer Complaint Database

Move by Mulvaney to Restrict Access to Database Would Harm Consumers

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC – United States Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) led 32 of their colleagues in urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to preserve public access to the Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database. Last month, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated he wanted to shut down the important consumer protection tool that allows consumers to file public complaints, resolve issues and make informed decisions when using financial services.

“The CFPB was created to stand up for consumers and empower them with the information they need to make informed decisions in the financial marketplace,” wrote the Senators. “A transparent complaint database creates the right incentives for financial institutions to follow the rules and treat consumers fairly where there’s a dispute.”

 The Senators continued: “This is how the CFPB is supposed to work – it is supposed to level the playing field and empower consumers to make informed financial decisions. The public nature of the database is essential to making this system work. We support strengthening CFPB’s tools, but restricting access hurts consumers.”

Since its creation in 2011, the Consumer Complaint Database has logged more than 1.1 million complaints about financial products or services, and 97 percent have received a response within 15 days. The database also provides critical information to advocates, businesses and policymakers to identify problems and support enforcement actions if needed.

Warren, Peters and Brown were joined in sending the letter by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).