The Ombudsman’s Office annual report, which I delivered to the Director, is available today on our webpage.
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. This year, as we expanded our focus on individual inquiries, we also welcomed the opportunity to expeditiously address an array of topics impacting many people or entities at one time.
Our Ombudsman in Brief section of our report, for example, provides a longer summary of our work on some systemic topics from this year, including: assisting inquirers with recognizing imposter scams; distinguishing between new and duplicate consumer complaints; assisting consumers with diminished capacity or illness in addressing consumer finance concerns; and connecting with the CFPB through publicly provided contact points.
In our report, we also discuss some broader, impactful topics in the Demonstrating the Ombudsman in Practice section, which provides short examples of how we can assist on topics, such as assisting state agencies with navigating CFPB resources, highlighting the need for additional consumer information after an enforcement action, and proposing updates to the CFPB’s Spanish language website.
We have a new FAQ format for our discussion of individual inquiries to our office to answer questions we often receive. This section of the report also includes an updated automated response that is filled with resources for all inquirers who first contact us by email. In addition, there is a new figure that demonstrates the lifecycle of an inquiry to our office with an example from this year.
Our report also describes our post-examination survey of supervised entities, including the survey format and a further description of entities surveyed. In addition, it has a representative set of survey participants’ unattributed feedback and recommendations in answer to our three questions (what worked well; what did not work well, if anything; and what would you change moving forward) about three topic areas (supervision materials and resources; interpersonal communications; and the end of the examination).
The Ombudsman in Practice section describes our office’s inreach (internal engagement), including an updated inreach chart which reflects new, regular meetings we have across the CFPB. It also has a description of our outreach with an easy-to-reference resource that describes how stakeholders can engage with us.
We look forward to hearing from you as we continue to advocate for fair process in consumer financial protection and welcome you to contact us at CFPBOmbudsman@cfpb.gov or (855) 830-7880.
Wendy Kamenshine is the Ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.