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The Federal Reserve Board
Consumer Complaints

 

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 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, you are encouraged 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 to investigate your complaint. Please do not send original documents, copies are preferred; and remember to sign and date your letter.

It is important to provide as much information about the problem as possible, which will assist in providing a quicker response to you. Send your complaint to:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
20th and C Streets, N.W., Stop 801
Washington, DC 20551

For further information you may call: (202) 452-3693.

What Will the Federal Reserve Do?

Consumer complaints filed against state member banks are investigated by the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. Once your complaint is received, it will be reviewed by the consumer affairs staff who will contact the bank about your concern. The Reserve Bank will investigate each issue raised in your letter and ask the bank involved for information and records in response to your complaint. If additional information is needed, you will be contacted by telephone or in writing. The Reserve Bank will analyze the bank's response to your complaint to ensure that your concerns have been addressed and will send a letter to you about its findings. If the investigation reveals that a federal law or regulation has been violated, you will be informed of the violation and the corrective action the bank has been directed to take.

Although the Federal Reserve investigates all complaints involving the banks it regulates, it does not have the authority to resolve all types of problems. For example, it is unable to resolve contractual disputes, undocumented factual disputes between a customer and a bank, or disagreements about bank policies and procedures. These matters are usually determined by bank policy and are not addressed by federal law or regulation. In many instances, however, by filing a complaint a bank may voluntarily work with you to resolve your situation. If, however, the matter is not resolved, the Federal Reserve will advise you whether a violation of law has occurred or whether you should consider legal counsel to resolve your complaint.

For further information, visit the Federal Reserve Board's website.

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