Mick Mulvaney is opening questioning whether there is any practical purpose in maintaining the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau’s (CFPB) online database of complaints against lenders and other financial companies.
The agency issued a notice in April seeking public comments on its complaint process and the public database. According to an Associated Press report
, Mulvaney, who is the CFPB’s acting director, insisted during a press conference in Topeka, Kan., on Friday that he has not made a final decision on whether the database should remain online.
“The real question is: How does it help consumers to make it public?” he said. “Again, what we’re talking about is something where you have a difficult time. Are we helping you fix your problem? Do we have to make it public to do that?”
Mulvaney added that the database was “essentially a taxpayer-funded Yelp for financial institutions,” although he claimed he was willing to reserve final judgement until the public comment period concluded. “We’re in the middle of that analysis.”
The online database now provides access to more than 1 million complaints filed since the public portal was created in the summer of 2012. One of the main complaints against the database was that the companies being targeted in the complaints did not have the option to publicly respond to the negative comments about their products and services. Mulvaney added the database does not offer updates on how complaints were resolved.
“We’ve perceived various weaknesses of the stuff that we make public,” Mulvaney said.