CFPB ‘Narrative’ Tool Misses the Mark

posted March 20, 2015


March 20, 2015 – Washington, D.C. –  Brian Wise, Senior Advisor for the US Consumer Coalition (USCC), issued the following statement today in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s (CFPB) finalized rule that would allow customers to publicize a “narrative” in the agency’s complaint portal.

“By finalizing the rule that allows narratives to be published with consumer complaints, the portal will provide a vehicle for companies to target other companies with false or misleading information, unverified and biased accounts of activity, and no mechanism for businesses to adequately respond or refute consumer stories. Even Yelp does better.

This system will potentially make the CFPB complicit in enabling fraud through their complaint system in the same way that the CFPB, and other executive agencies, are claiming that third party payment processors and banks are complicit in fraud within other industries. This portal will be used as a way of damaging the reputation of lawfully operating businesses without any trial.

This is another case of laudable goals leading to unintended consequences, but in this case the CFPB was warned by industry and consumer groups before the rule went into effect. The CFPB ignored the warnings.”


The U.S. Consumer Coalition (USCC) is a grassroots consumer advocacy organization working to protect and expand access to free-market goods and services.

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Raymond Niemiec
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