Bank accounts and services were the subject of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s August Monthly Complaint Report. What’s been giving consumers the most trouble with this “cornerstone financial tool” are issues with account management, deposits, and withdrawals. Those issues comprise about 60% of total complaints about this product category.
From a marketing compliance perspective, one particular area of concern noted by the report is the lack of clarity of terms and conditions for promotional offers such as airline miles and promotional cash. Some consumers disputed banks’ claims that they were ineligible for a promotional offer or had not met the required terms to receive an offer. Consumer complaint narratives in the database reveal that many consumers felt deceived or tricked by such marketing practices.
Banks, credit unions, and other companies offering bank account products and services should review the CFPB's recent enforcement actions against First National Bank of Omaha and M&T Bank to garner take-aways to use to mitigate their own risk. Two of the biggest red flags that brought the marketing practices of these companies to the CFPB’s attention were failing to disclose consumers’ ineligibility for debt collection products and deceptively advertising checking accounts with no strings attached.
The take-ways from this month's report is that fine-tuning your messaging for compliance with CFPB expectations is extremely important, followed up by having a marketing compliance monitoring system in place to proactively track your messaging for consistency across marketing channels, whether online or through customer service representatives in contact centers.
By taking these steps to maintain compliance with the regulations that govern marketing and advertising, you’ll have marketing campaigns that will attract customers rather than costing you customers and millions in penalties.