ABA Banking Journal - July 2013 - (Page 36)

ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER | INBOX Should social media be seen in CRA file? Q. Do we need to include comments or complaints received via Facebook or Twitter in our CRA Public file? A. It depends. Each bank must maintain a public file that, among other things, contains all written comments/ complaints from the public regarding its CRA performance. While responses are not required to be made to each such communication by the regulation, any bank responses to CRA comments or complaints must also be part of the public file. That said, there’s a practical consideration: One of the small bank performance evaluation criteria is the bank’s record of taking action, if warranted, in response to written complaints about its CRA performance. However, general consumer complaints not related to the bank’s CRA performance are not required to be in the public file. If the bank operates a website allowing customer comments, then CRArelated complaints sent to that website should be included in the public file. Comments made on websites not associated with the bank—and especially when respondents remain anonymous—could be included in your public file but should not be required. This would apply to sites like Facebook and Twitter. A best practice would be to archive social media complaints and escalate and respond to them as appropriate. Your bank should have a policy on social media complaints or incorporate social media postings within its general complaint policy. This policy should also address how the bank monitors and addresses comments/complaints on social media sites not related to the bank (e.g. Twitter) or where the posting is anonymous, appropriate to its complaint volume. (Response provided April 2013.) Don’t beef about it—regulators expect you to have a complaint policy Q. Do you know of a specific act or regulation that requires a bank to have a consumer complaint policy? A. Required by law? No. Expected? Yes. Not only can complaint information be a useful source of information to the bank, but the regulators expect one and you will likely be criticized if you don’t have one. All of the regulators are following the CFPB’s lead. They are looking closely at how a bank handles complaints and, more importantly, what the bank does with information about customer dissatisfaction. For example, is the bank using the information as an earlywarning system? The federal prudential banking regulators, historically concerned with safety and soundness, are continuing to emphasize proper and timely management of consumer complaints. Likewise, state attorneys general and state banking departments, whose investigatory work is often triggered by consumer complaints, are placing more emphasis than ever before on ensuring that consumer voices are heard. In this regulatory environment, it is critical that banks develop and implement robust, effective, and efficient programs for managing consumer complaints consistent with the volume of complaints received. (Response provided April 2013.) When are “points” a “bonus”? Q. If our bank offers 200 “points” to customers opening a new account—valued at $20—would 36 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | JULY 2013 this be a bonus for Regulation DD purposes? What if we offer points to an existing client who refers a friend to open a new account? A. To answer your first question, yes. To the extent that these points have a dollar value and are provided for opening an account, they trigger Reg DD’s bonus rules. To your second question: If the promotion promised “open an account with us and refer a friend and we will give you 200 points” where the money or points are part of the account opening “deal,” then Reg DD bonus rules would apply, because both requirements must be fulfilled simultaneously. But if the offer is made to existing customers who refer friends after the account has been established, then no, this does not rise to the level of a bonus under Reg DD. (Response provided April 2013.) Availability policies can be “multi-tier” Q. We will change our Regulation CC funds availability schedule for some commercial customers who opt for account analysis. Can we have two different availability policies? If so, what are the implications? A. Yes, you can have more than one funds availability policy. See the Commentary to 229.16 (a) 2: “The [bank’s] disclosure must reflect the policy and practice of the bank regarding availability as to most accounts and most deposits into those accounts. In disclosing the availability policy that it follows in most cases, a bank may provide a single disclosure that reflects one policy to all its transaction account customers, even though some of its customers may receive faster availability than that reflected in the policy disclosure. Thus, a bank need not disclose to some customers that they receive faster availability than indicated in the disclosure. If, however, a bank has a policy of imposing delays in availability on any customers longer than those specified in its disclosure, those customers must receive

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - July 2013

ABA Banking Journal - July 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Cover Story: Pay Choices
State Association Roundtable
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - July 2013

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