When you run into a problem with your bank, it can be difficult to resolve efficiently.
But when you have problems, you may not be the only one. By filing a complaint, you can ensure that others are not treated unfairly by your financial institution.
If you file a complaint against your bank, you can refer the problem to a regulatory organization. However, the bank complaint process is often not straightforward because of the multiple organizations involved.
Here is the step-by-step process you need to follow to file a complaint against your bank (and most importantly, to get the solution you need).
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What to do before filing a bank complaint
If you run into a problem with your bank, try speaking to them directly. While it is tempting to go straight into the complaints process, the problem you are dealing with may have been an honest mistake on behalf of your bank.
Start by giving your bank the benefit of the doubt. Take the time to contact customer service and work with them to resolve your problem. If you can get in touch with someone, take notes on the go.
Write down the details of the conversation, who you spoke to, and the timing. If you communicate using written documents such as a chat box or email, keep a copy of the conversation for your records.
In the best case scenario, you can work with your bank to find a solution to solve the problem. If you can’t, it’s time to file a complaint.
How to file a complaint against your bank
If the bank has not been helpful and you consider the problem serious enough to make a formal complaint, you should write down the incident in detail. You should identify the type of product you are complaining about, the problem at hand, and whoever is involved.
What is serious enough Well, for most people it means money is frozen, money is lost, money is stolen (possibly due to some mistake or negligence on the part of a bank clerk), or other account issues that prevent you from accessing your money.
If possible, collect supporting documents. This could include your notes about interactions with the bank or bank statements indicating the problem.
Once you know what to say in your complaint, you can decide where to file it. There are a few places you can go to file a complaint against your bank.
Pro tip: When you file a complaint, banks have high-level teams that are required to both resolve the problem and submit the appropriate response to the regulators. Complaints are taken very seriously and are usually dealt with very quickly.
Here are three of the most common options:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) allows you to file a complaint about a banking product using the online form. Once you have your information ready, it should only take a few minutes for you to officially file your complaint.
After you submit the complaint, the company concerned has up to 60 days to respond to your complaint. However, in most cases you will receive a response within 15 days.
Once you have received the reply, you can reply within 60 days. The complaint will be closed after you give your final answer.
Office of the Auditor of the Currency
The Office of the Currency Verifier (OCC) is another government office that accepts bank complaints. Before attempting to file a complaint against your bank here, take a minute to ensure that the bank is indeed being regulated by the office.
Fortunately, the OCC has a quick tool that can help you figure out the answer. It also shows you the right direction if your bank is not regulated by the OCC.
If you can find your bank on the OCC website, you can file a complaint via an online form within 30 minutes. With the present complaint, the OCC will investigate the problem. The organization will send you the result of your request within 60 days
The Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve is another place where you can file a formal complaint against your bank. As with the other options above, you can submit your complaint using an online form. You can also use a questionnaire sent physically by post.
Regardless of how the bank complaint is filed, the Federal Reserve will investigate. You will receive information about the results within 60 days of submission.
What to do after filing a bank complaint
Filing a complaint shouldn’t take too long. However, it could take days or weeks to resolve your problem. In practice, however, we have found that many problems are resolved within a few days.
While you wait for the results of your complaint investigation, you may want to look for another bank. Continuing to work with a financial institution when you know that you disagree with their business practices can be challenging.
By moving to a top rated bank, you can potentially get lower fees, a higher interest rate on deposits, better customer service, or all of the above. Check out our list of the best online banks that can help you today.
Like any other business, banks can make accidental mistakes. In these cases, a simple phone call or a visit to your branch office can solve the problem.
However, if your bank has committed misleading, misleading, or illegal practices, you must file a complaint to protect other consumers. And then you have to switch to a bank that better suits your needs. Compare your banking options here >>>