News Release

New Report Identifies Banks Consumers Complain About Most

Ohio Consumers Resolve Banking Disputes And Chart Trends Through the CFPB's Public Consumer Complaints Database
For Immediate Release


Bryan Stewart, Ohio PIRG Education Fund
Office: 614-228-1447

New Report Identifies Banks Consumers Complain About Most

Ohio Consumers Resolve Banking Disputes And Chart Trends Through the CFPB’s Public Consumer Complaints Database 

Columbus – Thousands of Americans are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes with their banks, according to a new report from the Ohio PIRG Education Fund. The report highlights banks that generated the most complaints through their various banking services in each state.

"Thanks to the CFPB's complaints database, consumers who get ripped off or misled by their banks can make their voices heard and get satisfaction,” said Bryan Stewart, associate for the Ohio PIRG Education Fund. “Other consumers can view the public database and make smarter, more informed financial choices. By providing a roadmap for navigating the tricks and traps of the financial marketplace, this database is another way the CFPB gets real results for consumers."

The report, “Big Banks, Big Complaints: CFPB’s Consumer Complaints Database Gets Real Results for Consumers, is the first in a series that analyzes the data in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaints Database, which accepts complaints relating to a variety of financial products and services. This first report focuses on the complaints relating to bank accounts.

Some key findings:

  • The most complained-about bank in Ohio is PNC Bank, followed by The Huntington National Bank and Fifth Third Bank.
  • The banks that generated the most complaints nationally are also the largest banks in terms of billions of dollars deposited: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase. But on a per-dollar basis, the banks that generated the most complaints are TCF National Bank, Sovereign Bank and Capital One.
  • One in four complaints (28 percent) resulted in monetary relief to the consumer, and an additional 5 percent resulted in non-monetary relief to the consumer, such as adjusting account terms. A total of 95 percent of complaints were closed through the process.
  • Ohio ranked 28th highest overall for our complaints-to-deposits ratio—ranking from highest to lowest based on the amount of complaints relative to the amount of banking done in each state.

While banks respond to 95 percent of complaints, approximately one in every five resolutions is still disputed by the consumer.

Senator Brown remarked on our report, “Under the leadership of Richard Cordray, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has served as the watchdog for the American consumer. The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database is an excellent tool to help protect Ohioans against harmful financial practices by making assistance more accessible to consumers and complaints open and transparent. It helps consumers shop for better and more appropriate checking accounts, mortgages and other financial products.”

State Senator Nina Turner added, “I applaud the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and advocates like Ohio PIRG for helping close the information gap between businesses and their customers. By leveraging the powerful data provided from the Consumer Complaint Database, we can build mechanisms to help consumers make more informed decisions for themselves and their families.”

State Senator Charleta Tavares also said, “The CFPB is the voice for America’s people. Oftentimes, state legislators hear about abusive or unfair lending and financial practices from their constituents and try to address the problems through state action. We are the early warning system. The CFPB hears and acts on direct consumer complaints from throughout the United States to address them on behalf of all of our residents rather than in piecemeal state by state actions.”

To make the public database more useful to consumers, the report also highlights several changes that the CFPB should make, such as developing a mobile app version for smartphone users. Most importantly, the CFPB should analyze the data regularly and move to act on problems that become apparent through the process.

“The CFPB should use the information and analysis to implement strong consumer protections,”
 said Stewart. “The database is a powerful tool for the CFPB to use in setting its agenda and taking on the most egregious banking practices.”


Download the report, “Big Banks, Big Complaints: CFPB’s Consumer Complaints Database Gets Real Results for Consumers”.

This is the first in a series of five reports by the Ohio PIRG Education Fund that analyze the complaints in the CFPB’s public Consumer Complaints Database. Upcoming reports will analyze complaints relating to private student loans, credit cards, credit reporting, and debt collection.

Visit the CFPB’s public Consumer Complaints Database:

The Ohio PIRG Education Fund works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer meaningful opportunities for civic participation.

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