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Compliance Corner: Fourth Quarter 2007

Compliance Alert: Federal Reserve System Changes Address for Consumer Complaints

The Federal Reserve System recently restructured its procedures for responding to consumer complaints. Previously, each of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks received consumer complaints and either investigated and responded to them if that Reserve Bank was the regulator of the relevant financial institution or forwarded the complaint to the appropriate bank regulator. In the new system, which started on November 16, 2007, and is called Federal Reserve Consumer Help (FRCH), all consumer complaint calls to Reserve Banks or to the Board of Governors are received at a central site maintained jointly by the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Kansas City. All consumer complaints and inquiries should be directed to the new center, whose address and toll-free number are:

Federal Reserve Consumer Help
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
(888) 851-1920 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST)

Consumers can also file complaints online at FRCH's website.External Link

The address change will affect Regulation B and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and will require action to be taken by all supervised institutions. For Regulation B, this change requires state member banks to update the section of their adverse action notices that identifies the agency that administers compliance with Regulation B.1 Also, the address for the new FRCH must be reflected on the Equal Housing Lending posters that are required under the FHA to be displayed in banking offices.2 Banks may obtain copies of the poster from the Federal Reserve Board at no charge by calling (202) 452-3245 or writing to: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Publications Fulfillment, MS-127, Washington, DC 20551.

Banks may also reprint the posters themselves with the new FRCH address or print the address on stickers to be placed over the Federal Reserve Board addresses on their existing posters. For more information, please refer to the Federal Reserve Board's CA Letter 07-06, which was sent to all institutions supervised by the Federal Reserve System on October 16, 2007.

  • 1   Section 202.9(a)(2) of Regulation B requires that the adverse action notice identify "the name and address of the federal agency that administers compliance with respect to the creditor."
  • 2   Pursuant to the March 20, 1989, Board Order on Fair Housing Advertising and Poster Requirements, "A state member bank that engages in extending any loan for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling…or any loan secured by a dwelling shall conspicuously display an equal housing lender poster in any public lobby and area within the bank where deposits are received or where such loans are made in a manner clearly visible to the general public entering such areas."

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of this Reserve Bank or the Federal Reserve System.