Following the expansion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaint database, officials are wondering if the now public information will help or hurt banks.

The supporters of the CFPB's online complaint portal say the database is already making financial institutions increasingly sensitive to consumers and efficient to responding to their complaints. "But others complain that some banks do not deserve the obvious reputational risk from public information - much of which has not been verified - about their quality of customer service," writes American Banker's Rachel Witkowski.

Consumer complaints "are a source of information that we consult in approaching our supervisory work of examining financial institutions," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said Thursday at a CFPB-sponsored field hearing about the database, which was mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act and launched in June.

"There's a need to know what you're dealing with but to name names is a concern regarding reputational risk [for financial companies] which is something the bureau doesn't seem to be fully sensitized to," Donald Lampe, a partner at the Dykema law firm, said in an interview. "There's no indicator whether the data has been normalized to look at incidents and determine what are the serious and actionable incidents."

For the full piece see "Will CFPB Complaint Database Help or Humiliate Banks?" (may require subscription).