On Dec. 8, the CFPB announced its Ombudsman’s Office for banks, nonbank lenders and consumers. The CFPB Ombudsman will not have the ability to overrule decisions made by an examiner. The Ombudsman’s Office exists for those cases in which the normal procedure for resolving an issue has already been tried. It also serves as a confidential contact to ensure banks can speak up without fear of retribution for their complaint.
Bankers would contact the ombudsman in cases where an examiner is not following the manual. The ombudsman can help move the issue farther up the chain of command. It can also make recommendations for improving examiners’ training programs if it finds the examiners are not following the manual correctly.
Consumers would contact the ombudsman in cases where they have contacted the CFPB through the normal consumer comment system but have been not received a satisfactory response. Consumers may also contact the ombudsman’s office if they feel a particular entity should have enforcement action taken against it and the CFPB has already determined not to take enforcement action.
The office will issue an annual report showing the trends and statistics for the complaints they receive.
A copy of the Ombudsman’s charter can be found here.