08/30/17 – Last month, the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office released its July 2017 Mid-year Update, listing some of the Ombudsman activities, including those related to whistleblower communications and the accessibility of print materials.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Ombudsman informally assists in resolving process issues with the CFPB that are mentioned in individual inquires received from consumers, financial entities, their groups, and others; highlighted in interactions with groups; or observed by the Ombudsman.
In its July 2017 Mid-year Update, the Ombudsman reported that in the first six months of the 2017 fiscal year, the Ombudsman received 820 individual inquiries from individuals, companies, and others.
According to the Update, the Ombudsman is working with the CFPB to resolve issues related to:
- Accessibility of CFPB print materials. Some consumer groups have noted that CFPB’s accessible educational materials, specifically large print and Braille materials, were difficult to request and obtain. After the Ombudsman addressed the issue with the CFPB, the Bureau added an Accessibility page to its website with instruction on how to obtain accessible materials.
- Whistleblower Communications to the CFPB. Some whistleblowers were contacting the Ombudsman, instead of the CFPB, to report alleged violations of consumer finance laws. The Ombudsman noted to the CFPB that contact information for whistleblower reporting was difficult to find on the CFPB’s website and made suggestions to the CFPB to make the information easier to locate.
The Ombudsman also reported on its activities to engage with the public. Through Ombudsman Forums, Interactives, and independent outreach programs, the Ombudsman has solicited feedback from the public on compliance management and the consumer complaint process, the public Consumer Complaint Database, the examination process, CFPB compliance tools and resources, and current process considerations with regulatory compliance.