|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.
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:
questions about banking practices
complaints about specific banks under our supervisory
jurisdiction. Complaints about financial institutions that are
not supervised by the Federal Reserve System are referred to
What Kinds of Complaints are
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:
name, address and daytime telephone number, including area
and address of the bank involved in your complaint or
bank or credit card account number;
name of the person you contacted at the bank, along with the
date, if applicable;
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.