Today, the Ombudsman’s Office’s annual report is available on our webpage. Each year our annual report, which I deliver to the Director, outlines our work process and summarizes our activities from the last fiscal year. The Ombudsman’s Office is an independent, impartial, and confidential resource that assists consumers, financial entities, consumer or trade groups, and others in informally resolving process issues with the CFPB.
New in this report is a thematic snapshot of our work over time and an information sheet that describes the federal financial ombudsman offices. We also detail an evaluation of our Ombudsman Interactives pilot program, which will now be part of our recurring programs, and include FAQs about our Ombudsman Forum program. As in previous years, the Demonstrating the Ombudsman in Practice section provides short examples of our work such as: clarifying whether the public can submit comments on proposed rules before their publication in the Federal Register, offering suggestions on the CFPB’s process for handling correspondence, and providing feedback on the information sent to industry regarding the CFPB’s review of financial entities’ diversity practices.
We continue to make and build upon connections in various ways as we advocate for fair process in consumer financial protection. Our report includes updates to our internal and external engagement, including a handout describing what outreach we offer for groups’ conferences. We also provide summaries from our two Ombudsman Forums in FY2019, one with consumer groups in the Southeast region and the other which brought together a cross-section of consumer and industry advocates for small business.
Again, this year, our report shares about individual inquiries received by our office, as well as the associated analysis and data. We also include discussion and recommendations on two topics:
- Consumer complaints referred to the CFPB from other agencies
- Information provided to consumer on defendant-administered redress
Additionally, you’ll find updates to four topics from previous years: how non-consumers contact the Bureau by phone; entities mentioned for a positive purpose in CFPB materials; submission of information for consumer complaints; and legal disclaimers introducing Bureau webinars. Last, we share our strategic goals for the next two years and appendices with ways the Ombudsman’s Office has communicated about our resource over time.
As we start the new fiscal year, we look forward to continuing to make connections across people to assist in resolving individual and systemic process issues. We welcome you to contact us about topics we have shared in our report, ask questions about our role, or discuss process matters at CFPBOmbudsman@cfpb.gov or (855) 830-7880.
Wendy Kamenshine is the Ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.