What do I need to know before I file a complaint?
Can I file a complaint?
You may file a complaint if you think a bank has been unfair or misleading, discriminated against you in lending, or violated a federal consumer protection law or regulation.
What will the Federal Reserve do?
Federal Reserve Consumer Help will connect you with or forward your complaint to the appropriate federal regulator for the bank or institution involved in your complaint.
If your complaint is against a financial institution that the Federal Reserve supervises, it will be investigated by one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks.
Through the Reserve Bank's investigation of your complaint, it will:
- Ask the bank involved for information and records regarding your complaint.
- Determine if the bank's response addresses your concerns.
- Send you a letter about its findings.
The Reserve Bank may contact you to request additional information to complete its investigation. Depending on the complexity of your complaint, investigations typically take 30 to 60 days to complete.
What won't the Federal Reserve do?
Although the Federal Reserve looks into every complaint that involves the banks we regulate, we do not have the authority to resolve every type of problem. For example:
- We are unable to resolve contract disputes or undocumented factual disputes between a customer and a bank. In these cases, we suggest that you contact an attorney.
- We cannot investigate matters that are the subject of a pending lawsuit.
- We are unable to resolve complaints about customer service or disagreements over specific bank policies and procedures not addressed by a federal law or regulation.
What steps should I take before I file a complaint?
Have you checked our Frequently Asked Questions to find out if a bank can really...? Here you'll find answers about practices that may seem unfair and what a bank can do legally under federal laws and regulations.
Have you tried to settle the problem directly with your bank or financial institution? If so, and you were unable to resolve the problem, contact us for help.
Do you know who regulates your bank or financial institution? If so, you may speed up the processing of your complaint by contacting the appropriate regulator directly. If you are not sure about the regulator, file your complaint with us. We will gladly forward your complaint to the appropriate federal regulator.