Financial Services Executives Expect Consumer Complaint Costs to Rise due to CFPB Regulations

Increased Regulations to Have Little Impact on Consumer Satisfaction, Technology to Play Greater Role in Handling Consumer Complaints According to Aptean Survey

ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2014 — Almost three out of four (73 percent) financial services executives say they already have experienced a jump in regulatory compliance costs since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) started imposing regulations and enforcement, according to a national survey by Aptean.
Almost all (92 percent) of those organizations surveyed expect costs of handling complaints to increase. At the same time, the majority (54 percent) say CFPB scrutiny will lead to increased complaint volume, and none said complaint volume would decrease.

The 2014 Aptean Consumer Complaints Compass is the first research study of its kind to dig into how organizations are reacting to the CFPB and what U.S. financial service executives think the impact will be on consumers. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB supervises banks with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as certain nonbanks including mortgage companies, private student loan lenders and payday lenders.

Complete findings from the 2014 Aptean Consumer Complaints Compass, a blind survey of 74 U.S. financial service executives conducted in October of 2014, are available at

The CFPB also is creating concern among financial services executives. The biggest CFPB concerns reported included:

• Uncertainty about future rule-making
• Onerous supervision
• Enforcement and decision making authority

Anticipated Complaint Volume
Since the CFPB started operations in 2011, the complexity of complaints has increased, according to a majority (57 percent) of financial service executives. At the same time, 39 percent say complaint complexity has stayed roughly the same and only 4 percent say it has decreased somewhat.

Sixty-three percent of executives predict that increased CFPB regulation will not cause a significant difference in consumer satisfaction. In fact, many expect regulations to have a negative impact on consumer lending, including:

• An increase in the cost of funds (69 percent)
• Longer application process time (53 percent)
• Less access to funds (41 percent)

“To minimize both costs and consumer friction, savvy financial institutions are leveraging technology to identify and manage the root cause of consumer complaints,” said Matt Keenan, vice president of CRM product management, Aptean. “Our research found that one out of two (50 percent) financial organizations plan to use automation to help alleviate the stress and strains of consumer complaints.”

Tackling Complaints with Technology
With half (50 percent) of financial service executives reporting they have gone from an “anecdotal to an analytical” approach in handling consumer complaints, Keenan points out technology makes aligning complaint management policies and procedures to CFPB audit requirements easier.
This survey comes on the heels of Aptean’s launch earlier this year of its Financial Regulations Hub, which features exclusive content dedicated to helping guide financial services companies when navigating CFPB regulations and compliance guidelines.

On the Lighter Side
Executives also were pulsed on the future of payment options. Only 15 percent of the respondents believe bitcoin is on the cusp of mainstream use, while almost half (46 percent) expect chip-and-pin based credit cards to become standard within the next 12 months. Just last month President Obama signed an executive order requiring government-issued credit cards to use chip-and-pin technology.

About the 2014 Aptean Consumer Complaints Compass
The blind survey of 74 U.S. financial services executives was conducted in October 2014. Respondents included an equal mix of C-level executives, risk service directors and compliance officers. Download the full results at

About Aptean
Aptean helps businesses profit, innovate and grow where the work gets done—in the call center, on the floor of the factory, at the end of the assembly line. That’s where Aptean’s CRM, Complaint Management, ERP and Supply Chain software applications enable nearly 5,000 customers to satisfy their customers, operate more efficiently and stay at the forefront of their industry. Aptean is where software WORKS. For more information, visit

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