The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has asked the public to share their experiences with big banks in order to improve customer service standards in the sector.
Through a public consultation, the CFPB wants to identify any obstacles that may prevent consumers from receiving high standards of customer services through gathering and collating data and consumer experiences.
Rohit Chopra, director of the CFPB, said: “Customers of large banks should not have to run through an obstacle course to get a straight answer about their account,”
“We are taking steps to ensure the legally enshrined right to obtain basic customer service.”
The bureau cited a 2010 federal law that dictates that large depository institutions must respond to consumers requests for information about their accounts in a timely manner. The rule applies to banks or credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets.
It said that, given the dual trends of consolidation of banks and digitization of the services they offer, it was important to work to “restore relationship banking”. The CFPB claimed that the decline of relationship banking had deprived some customers of customized advice, responsiveness, and care.
Speaking at a recent industry event, Chopra said: “The CFPB’s own examinations have found that customers report a struggle to obtain basic information when humans are replaced by call center menus and algorithms, or when companies try to cut corners by slashing customer service costs.”
The CFPB wants feedback on specific questions, including: “Are there customer service obstacles that inhibit their ability to bank?” and “What information are consumers currently unable to obtain from their bank?”