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The Bottom Line on Consumer Protection in 2021

By Rhonda McGill
January 8, 2021

Out with the Old…

The new year is often a time of reflection and some of us even make a resolution or two so that we can change things up.

Some may resolve to lose a few pounds, or commit to going to the gym, (that’s not on my list, I wouldn’t even get through the first week of January). Others may take a professional development course to learn a new skill (definitely more my speed). Regardless of what, we all have our thing. 

2020 took many of us by surprise causing us to shift our day-to-day routine to protect ourselves and our families as we learned how to navigate life during a pandemic. Face-to-face client meetings, conferences, and business lunches and dinners have paused. Many of our offices are still sitting empty as working from home has become the norm for so many of us. We learned new phrases like, “essential worker,” “you’re on mute,” “virtual happy hour,” and “curbside to go.” This year I attend my first “virtual holiday gathering,” needless to say, it was fun to relax with my friends from the comfort of my couch, however, my heart longed for the “good ole days,” where I got dressed up and the catered dinner at the holiday banquet was a piece of dry baked chicken, garnished with green beans sprinkled with almonds and a “fluff” of mashed potatoes, a side salad, and a dinner roll. I’d give anything for that plate again, as it means that I would be partying it up in the physical presence of colleagues and friends. 

In with the New…

Even with Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon, we all know that it will be a while before things go back to the “days of old.” Many companies are reflecting on the impact that 2020 had on their business and how they have had to adapt. As we enter 2021 we can only imagine that new businesses will join the crowd in hopes of getting consumer attention while they grab their piece of the eCommerce pie.

Consumers are doing so much more online these days, including buying goods, banking, and handling mortgage business while waiting on the world to fully re-open. It’s more than the ease of use of the technology, it is also the truth in marketing and trust that they are getting the services or products that they ask for. Consumers also want to know that your business is protecting their personal information and that their transactions are secure.

The Bottom Line....

The bottom line is that consumers want to know that your business is trustworthy and compliant. As the number of online purchases grows, regulators have been going hard on enforcing consumer protection. If you didn’t check out the FTC’s 12 days of Consumer Protection, you missed some great information. The FTC, CFPB, and State regulators have been busy. Santa almost ran out of coal as his naughty list kept growing this year. 

As 2021 begins, the reality of the pandemic means that we will be sitting tight a bit longer and as a result, consumers are depending on your business to help them navigate life. This is easier done when they know you take compliance seriously. Our clients are already being proactive in their compliance initiatives and we are proud to be working with them and supporting them in their consumer protection efforts.   

Make sure that your company is on the NICE list. As we’ve all seen recently, the NAUGHTY list is no place to be and December 25th is a long way away… there’s no time like the present to protect your business as this translates to protecting the consumer. Here’s to 2021 bringing great things, as we all could use some good news!

Until then, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Happy New Year.

Tags: Consumer Protection, The Bottom Line

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An analysis of consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB and the risk signals they present for financial institutions.

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