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Report Shows Huge Spike in Complaints From Banking Customers Like
American consumers continue to “experience problems” managing their accounts at banks and credit unions across the country, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
There are more than 200 million deposit accounts open nationwide — checking, savings and certificates of deposit. Since March 2012, the CFPB has handled approximately 94,000 complaints about these accounts.
A majority of the complaints (64 percent) deal with checking accounts. The most common problems deal with account management (45 percent) and withdrawals (25 percent), followed by sending or receiving payments (13 percent), problems caused by low funds (10 percent) and trouble using a debit or ATM card (seven percent).
The CFPB’s Monthly Complaint Report uses a three-month rolling average — comparing the current period to same period last year — to account for monthly and seasonal fluctuations. Bank-related complaints increased dramatically, from 1,890 in May-July of 2015 to 2,239 in May-July of this year, an increase of 26 percent.
“Deposit accounts are an essential component of millions of consumers’ financial lives,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “We are concerned that consumers continue to face difficulties accessing and managing this cornerstone financial tool. Consumers who are eligible for a deposit account should be able to get one and use it effectively.”
The nation’s bankers question the accuracy of the government data and say they’re doing a very good job of keeping their customers satisfied.
“The complaints are unverified and often mislabeled and financial institutions have no effective opportunity to respond with the other side of the story,” said Nessa Feddis, a senior vice president at the American Bankers Association. “It’s highly questionable that this resource advances the Bureau’s goal of helping consumers make informed financial decisions.”
Feddis told NBC News that based on the hundreds of millions of bank accounts and the billions of account transactions that take place every month, the number of complaints is minuscule. Her conclusion from the report is that “banks are doing a fantastic job.”
(Info continues at: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/study-shows-huge-spike-complaints-banking-customers-n642096)