The CFPB Company Portal — It’s Your Company’s Radar

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Originally published in Law360, New York on September 17, 2012.

Countless clients ask, “How do I know if my company is on a regulator’s radar, and how do I stay off of it?!” Historically, the answer required some dedicated sleuthing and guesswork because most regulatory complaint databases, including the Federal Trade Commission’s Sentinel system, are not transparent to companies even though the nature and volume of complaints are regular triggers for investigations and enforcement actions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with its new “company portal” program, has taken a very different direction, one which should be welcomed by companies.

One of the more intriguing concepts that accompanied the CFPB’s creation was the agency’s announced plan to establish “company portals” to facilitate direct resolutions of consumers’ complaints. Unlike “one-way” complaint channels traditionally employed by state and federal regulators to gather beefs about consumer services and products, the company portal platform has been touted as a method of delivering “real-time” notifications of customer complaints to companies, alerting them to potential problems and affording the company the opportunity to respond and the CFPB the ability to monitor the company’s handling of consumer issues.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, General Business Updates, Consumer Protection Updates, Finance & Banking Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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