Federal Reserve Consumer Help turns 10
If consumers had a problem with a bank or other ﬁnancial institution 10 years ago, they might not have known where to get help quickly. And when a request was ﬁled, each Federal Reserve District and the Board of Governors handled consumer complaints and inquiries independently, with no publicity, consistency, conformity or centralization.
But that changed in 2007 with the launch of Federal Reserve Consumer Help (FRCH), a centralized operation of the Federal Reserve System—housed in both the Kansas City and Minneapolis districts—that assists consumers in ﬁling complaints involving ﬁnancial institutions and with their inquiries related to the federal consumer protection laws and regulations.
In October, FRCH celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The anniversary marks a decade of responding to consumer complaints and inquiries related to federal consumer protection laws, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Truth in Lending Act.
“That’s what FRCH has brought to the System: the consistent consumer experience,” said Senior Examiner Alinda Murphy, who was responsible for receiving complaints for the Tenth District prior to the creation of FRCH. “Now individuals get the same friendly customer service each time, with all the amenities FRCH can provide, such as transferring to other agencies and a wealth of knowledge.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Customer Contact Centers (CCCs) and Divisions of Consumer Aﬀairs partnered in the centralization initiative in 2007 to improve responsiveness to consumers, increase public visibility and access, and foster internal eﬃciency.
Since the CCCs had already been established in the two districts, the proposal for FRCH leveraged the call center services infrastructure. This was combined with the Consumer Aﬀairs Divisions’ knowledge of the federal consumer protection laws and regulations and processes for handling complaints and inquiries.
“We are well-versed in dealing with call center operations and a large volume of people coming to us with outward-facing issues,” FRCH Manager Timothy Morris said. “We are unique that way, as we have wide-ranging consumer protection knowledge, solid customer-facing skills and a strong infrastructure.”
Visit the Federal Reserve Consumer Help website for more information.