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Friday, September 19, 2014   
 

How to File a Consumer Complaint About a Bank
by Federal Reserve
The primary responsibility of the Board members is the formulation of monetary policy. The seven Board members constitute a majority of the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group that makes the key decisions affecting the cost and availability of money and credit in the economy.
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 Federal Reserve

If you have a complaint about a bank or other financial institution, the Federal Reserve System might be able to help you. The Federal Reserve is responsible for carrying out many of the federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with financial institutions. The Board of Governors, located in Washington, D.C., works with the twelve Federal Reserve Banks around the country to make certain the commercial banks that the Federal Reserve supervises abide by these laws. We can help individual consumers by:

Answering questions about banking practices
Investigating complaints about specific banks under our supervisory jurisdiction. Complaints about financial institutions that are not supervised by the Federal Reserve System are referred to the appropriate federal agency.

What Kinds of Complaints are Investigated? 

As a federal regulatory agency, the Federal Reserve System investigates consumer complaints received against state chartered banks that are members of the System. If you think a bank has been unfair or deceptive in its dealings with you, or has violated a law or regulation, as a consumer you have the right to file a complaint. The major consumer protection laws covering financial services are described later. 

The Federal Reserve is particularly concerned that state member banks comply with federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in lending. In such cases, additional steps are taken to ensure that your complaint is promptly and thoroughly investigated. In addition, complaints alleging discrimination in housing that are covered by the Fair Housing Act are referred to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How to File a Complaint

Before writing or calling the Federal Reserve, we encourage consumers to try to settle the problem with the financial institution first. This may involve directly contacting senior bank management or the bank's customer service representative for assistance. If you are still unable to resolve the problem, you may file a written complaint with the Federal Reserve including the following information:

Your name, address and daytime telephone number, including area code;
Name and address of the bank involved in your complaint or inquiry; 
Your bank or credit card account number;
The name of the person you contacted at the bank, along with the date, if applicable;
Description of the complaint. State what happened, giving the dates involved and the names of those you dealt with at the bank. Include copies of any letters or other documents that may help us to investigate your complaint. Please do not send original documents, copies are preferred; and remember to sign and date your letter.

It's important to give us as much information about the problem as possible; this will assist us in providing a quicker response to you.

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