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. As we mark ten fiscal years of advocating for fair process in consumer financial protection, our report includes a 10 Year Anniversary section that highlights some key milestones over the years and describes some of the various ways we have assisted the CFPB and the public from our unique vantage point.
As in previous reports, the Demonstrating the Ombudsman in Practice section provides short examples from this year that illustrate the various ways we can assist on topics, such as offering feedback and suggestions on draft CFPB materials, connecting industry to CFPB resources, and considering engagement with the CFPB’s telephone contact center.
Our report also describes the program launch and first year of our post-examination survey of CFPB supervised entities. We describe the survey format and include a description of the entities surveyed. In addition, the section has a representative set of participants’ unattributed feedback and recommendations answering 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).
This year, we hosted another Ombudsman Forum, meeting virtually with national and regional organizations that assist consumers in the Midwest region. We facilitated discussions on process topics, including connecting in with the CFPB, engaging various communities, and whether it is clear if consumers should go to the CFPB or another agency for assistance. In previous years, we hosted Forums in person or virtually with national and regional organizations that assist consumers in the CFPB’s other three regions.
Our report also shares about individual inquiries we received as well as the associated analysis and data, including a discussion of individual inquiries: about the consumer complaint process, from industry, and from small businesses.
Our Ombudsman in Brief section has shorter discussions of two topics, the information the CFPB provides to the public and CFPB videos. We also describe our work on one systemic issue – assisting consumers who submit correspondence to the CFPB via postal mail. In addition, there are updates on issues we previously studied: processes related to certain communications the CFPB receives from the public and connecting with the CFPB through publicly provided contact points.
This year, we have a new report section that summarizes when and how to contact our office. We welcome you to contact us at CFPBOmbudsman@cfpb.gov or (855) 830-7880 and look forward to hearing from you as we continue to advocate for fair process in consumer financial protection.
Wendy Kamenshine is the Ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.