Have you experienced a problem with your bank or credit union that you have not been able to resolve? It may be time for you to contact the regulator of your financial institution. Unfortunately, our banking system doesn't make this easy since there are many regulators which have responsibilities for different financial institutions. I've included links to two government resources that will help you find the correct regulator:
- File a Bank Complaint - This is a good place to start to file a complaint against a bank. The site is intended for National Banks regulated by the OCC, but if your bank isn't a National Bank, it will help you find the correct regulator
- File a Credit Union Complaint - This NCUA page is the place to start for filing a complaint against a credit union. If your problem is with a federal credit union, the NCUA may be able to help. However, if it's not a federal credit union, your first line of help should be from the state regulator.
It's important to note that the regulator may not provide the help you had wanted. The FDIC describes the limit of its authority in complaint resolution at this page:
Our scope of authority does not ordinarily extend to the resolution of complaints involving factual disputes or contractual matters, or matters that have been or are in the process of being litigated.
Some readers have reported receiving no help from a regulator after they submitted a complaint. However, some readers have reported success. One recent example was when a bank changed their add-on policy on existing CDs. The reader wrote a letter to the FDIC, the bank's federal regulator. The FDIC contacted the bank about the issue, and the bank decided to rescind its policy change. I described this incident and posted excerpts of the letters in this post. As you can see in this example, it can pay to send a complaint to your financial institution's regulator.