CFPB Begins Taking Whistleblower Tips
December 22, 2011
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced several ways that whistleblowers can alert the Bureau to potential violations of federal consumer financial laws.
“We are providing whistleblowers and other knowledgeable sources with a direct line of communication to the CFPB,” said Rich Cordray, assistant director of enforcement for the CFPB. “Their tips will help inform Bureau strategy, investigations, and enforcement. And they will help us fulfill our commitment to consumers.”
The whistleblower channels include an email address, email@example.com and a toll free “tips hotline” at 855-695-7974. Early next year, the Bureau plans to introduce an online tips portal accessible through its website. People who submit tips through any of these channels may request confidentiality or even remain anonymous to the extent permitted by law, although providing contact information may assist the Bureau in investigating and remediating potential violations of federal consumer financial laws.
The CFPB is welcoming information about potential violators from current or former employees, contractors, vendors, and competitor companies. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act provides certain anti-retaliation protections for employees of providers of consumer financial products and services who share information regarding potential violations. Employees protected by the statute may not be terminated or discriminated against for: (1) providing information to the employer, the Bureau, or any other state, local, or federal government authority or law enforcement agency relating to a violation of federal consumer financial law; (2) testifying about a potential violation; (3) filing any lawsuit or other proceeding under any federal consumer financial law; or (4) objecting to or refusing to participate in violations of federal consumer financial laws.
Whistleblower information and law enforcement tips are distinct from consumer complaints. The CFPB’s consumer complaint process is available for individuals who have personally encountered problems with financial services or products.
More information about whistleblower protections is available from the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Program website.