The CFPB, Baby Boomers & Soaring Complaints (Stat of the Week)
They’re one of the most populous generations in American history. They’ve changed music, culture, language, and technology. And according to hundreds of surveys, think pieces, and books, they’re ruining everything.
That’s right—I’m talking about baby boomers. In more ways than one, the people born between 1940 and 1960ish are the original millennials: multitudinous and diverse, with a rebellious streak that pits them against the values of their parents and grandparents. It’s every generation’s story, but because of their sheer size and economic influence, baby boomers (and millennials, too) stand out for their transformative impact on society.
Now in their 60s and 70s, baby boomers are still setting trends. Check out the following graph, which charts the steady increase in complaints lodged against finance companies and filed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by people 62 and older:
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While older consumers are becoming less shy in airing their grievances against lenders, complaints filed by those 62 and older represent only a fraction of the CFPB’s complaints database. As of April 1, 2017, the CFPB has dealt with more than 1,160,000 complaints, “of which 103,100 (9 percent) were submitted by older consumers.”
Then again, according to the CFPB, just 54 percent of consumers who complain voluntarily report their age. It’s possible that those aged 62 and above account for far more than 9% of those 1.16 million.
Either way, this trend should compel finance companies to ensure that they meet their compliance obligations and address consumer complaints promptly and effectively, regardless of their source. Baby boomer, generation x, millennial, or gen z, your consumers all have at least one thing in common: when they complain, they complain for a reason. It’s up to you to listen and react accordingly, or else risk going out of business.
We grabbed this week’s statistic from the CFPB’s most recent Monthly Complaint Report (Vol. 23), which you can download here.
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