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Elizabeth Warren and the Inspector General of the "Independent" Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

The Huffington Post

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By: Robert Auerbach

Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank should be congratulated for leading the Congress to authorize an entity to protect consumers from deception and fraud in their credit and financial activities. This new entity should also monitor and attempt to change the deceptive practices of the numerous government regulators that are supposed to be transparent and straightforward in handling the inquires and complaints of the consumers and taxpayers they serve.

Consider what currently confronts a consumer who's making a complaint about a banking or credit problem with the regulator that governs much of the banking system, the Federal Reserve. There is a confusing diagram on their website labeled: "Federal Reserve Consumer Complaint Process." The diagram shows where a complaint submitted to the Federal Reserve may go. In case the diagram confuses the consumer the Federal Reserve suggests: "If you have questions about how we handle complaints, please view the Federal Reserve Consumer Complaint Process. If you still have questions, contact our staff by e-mail or phone. If you know the regulator of the institution you have concerns about, you may speed up the processing of your complaint by contacting the regulator directly. The FFIEC Consumer Help Center can help you find the correct regulator if you have some identifying information about the institution. If you are not sure about the regulator, file your complaint online and we will be happy to help." [Telephone numbers and email addresses deleted by me.]

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