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Report Bank Complaints or Problems: Who Regulates Banks?

Bank Account Guide

Bank Complaints Bank Problems Who Regulates Banks

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Bank Complaint Process: Federal Reserve System
If you have complaints or problems with a bank (or other financial institution), you may report a bank complaint or problem to the Federal Reserve System or the appropriate regulator of your banking institution. If you are unsure of the bank regulator, file a complaint report with the Federal Reserve, and it will forward the bank complaint to the appropriate federal regulatory agency. The Federal Reserve promises to respond to bank complaints / problems within 15 business days and tell you the federal regulator or Reserve Bank that will be investigating your bank complaint or problem.

The Federal Reserve is responsible for carrying out many of the federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with banks and financial institutions. The Board of Governors, located in Washington, D.C., works with the twelve Federal Reserve Banks around the country to make certain that the commercial banks which the Federal Reserve supervises abide by these laws. As a federal regulatory agency, the Federal Reserve System investigates consumer complaints received against State chartered banks that are members of the System. Complaints / problems with banks and financial institutions that are not supervised by the Federal Reserve System are referred to the appropriate federal agency.

The Federal Reserve can help individual consumers by answering questions about banking practices, and investigating complaints and problems with specific banks under its supervisory jurisdiction. If you think a bank has been unfair or deceptive in its dealings with you, or has violated a law or regulation, as a consumer you have the right to file a bank complaint. The Federal Reserve is particularly concerned that state member banks comply with federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in lending. In such cases, additional steps are taken to ensure that your bank complaint or bank problem is promptly and thoroughly investigated.

The Federal Reserve encourages consumers to try to settle the problem with the bank or financial institution first. This may involve directly contacting senior bank management or the bank's customer service representative for assistance. If you are still unable to resolve the bank problem, you may file a written bank complaint with the Federal Reserve, providing the following information:

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and email address

  • Name, address, telephone number, and email address of the bank involved in your complaint or inquiry

  • The name of the person you contacted at the bank, along with the date, if applicable

  • Description of the bank complaint: state what happened, giving the dates involved and the names of those you dealt with at the bank

  • How you believe your bank complaint can be satisfactorily addressed

  • Do not include original documentation -- the federal agency investigating your bank complaint will contact you if any additional documentation is needed

It is important to give as much information about the bank problem as possible; this will assist in providing a quicker response to you.

Report a Bank Complaint / Problem Online

The Federal Reserve provides an online bank complaint form for your convenience.

Report a Bank Complaint / Problem by Fax

You may fax your bank complaint, including the information listed above, using the Federal Reserve's PDF Bank Complaint Form, to fax number: 877-888-2520

Report a Bank Complaint / Problem by Mail

You may mail your bank complaint, including the information listed above, using the Federal Reserve's PDF Bank Complaint Form, to:

Federal Reserve Consumer Help
PO Box 1200, Minneapolis, MN 55480

Contact the Federal Reserve by Phone with Questions Regarding Bank Complaints / Problems

For further information you may call Federal Reserve Consumer Help toll free, from 8:00 am to 6:00pm CST, at 888-851-1920 (TTY: 877-766-8533).

Consumer complaints filed against state member banks are investigated by the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. Once your bank complaint is received, it will be reviewed by the consumer affairs staff who will contact the bank about your concern. The Reserve Bank will investigate each issue raised in your letter and ask the bank involved for information and records in response to your bank complaint. If additional information is needed, the Federal Reserve will contact you by telephone or in writing. The Reserve Bank will analyze the bank's response to your complaint to ensure that your concerns have been addressed and will send a letter to you about its findings. If the investigation reveals that a federal law or regulation has been violated, you will be informed of the violation and the corrective action the bank has been directed to take.

Although the Federal Reserve investigates all complaints involving the banks it regulates, it does not have the authority to resolve all types of bank problems. For example, it is unable to resolve contractual disputes, undocumented factual disputes between a customer and a bank, or disagreements about bank policies and procedures. These matters are usually determined by bank policy and are not addressed by federal law or regulation. In many instances, however, by filing a complaint a bank may voluntarily work with you to resolve your situation. If, however, the matter is not resolved, the Federal Reserve will advise you whether a violation of law has occurred or whether you should consider legal counsel to resolve your bank complaint.

Report Banking Complaints or Problems to Other Federal Agencies / Regulators
If you know the regulator of your banking institution, you may speed up the bank complaint process by contacting the regulator directly. Again, if you are not sure of the bank regulator, file a report with the Federal Reserve, and it will forward the bank complaint to the appropriate federal regulatory agency. You may also search for your banking institution at the FFIEC Consumer Help Center, which will help identify the appropriate federal bank regulator, or review the list below...

Comptroller of the Currency
Regulates banks with national in the name or N.A. after the name
Report a bank complaint / problem to the Comptroller of the Currency

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010-9050
Tel: 1-800-613-6743
Fax: 713-336-4301

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regulates state chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System
Report a bank complaint / problem to the FDIC

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer Response Center
2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64108-2638
1-877-275-3342 (1-877-ASK-FDIC)

Office of Thrift Supervision
Regulates federal savings and loans and federal savings banks
Report a bank complaint / problem to the OTS

Office of Thrift Supervision
1700 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20552
Tel: 1-800-842-6929
Fax: 202-906-7342

National Credit Union Administration
Regulates federally chartered credit unions
Report a bank complaint / problem to the National Credit Union Administration

National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
Tel: 800-755-1030

Federal Trade Commission
Regulates finance companies, stores, auto dealers, mortgage companies, and credit bureaus
Report a complaint / problem to the FTC

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
6th and Pennsylvania, N.W.
Washington, DC 20580
877-FTC-HELP - toll free (877-382-4357)

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