WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposal Wednesday that would allow it to publish more information about individual complaints made by consumers about financial companies.

The agency already collects and publishes customer complaint information on banks and nonbanks concerning products such as credit cards, mortgages and student loans. But the proposal would give consumers the option to share their "narratives," providing more detailed accounts of specific complaints.

Releasing these details, the CFPB said, would allow the public to "detect specific trends in the market, aid consumer decision-making, and drive improved customer service."

"The consumer experience shared in the narrative is the heart and soul of the complaint," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a press release. "By publicly voicing their complaint, consumers can stand up for themselves and others who have experienced the same problem. There is power in their stories, and that power can be put in service to strengthen the foundation for consumers, responsible providers, and our economy as a whole."

The CFPB said the narratives would be scrubbed of personal information so that consumers could not be individually identified and only published on an opt-in basis.

The proposal is likely to draw the ire of the banking industry, which has already objected that the complaint database includes uncorroborated information.

 

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