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12/06/2018

Banking and Securities Department Helps More Consumers in 2017-18

Harrisburg, PA - As part of Governor Tom Wolf’s commitment to supporting financial protections, the Department of Banking and Security today released the Consumer Services Annual Report for 2017-2018. The report highlights the work of the department’s Financial Services for Consumers and Business staff under the governor’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative.

“The work outlined in this third annual report is a testament to the hard work of my colleagues, who are dedicated to helping Pennsylvanians make good decisions with their hard-earned money,” said Wiessmann. “Governor Wolf and I remain committed to the four objectives of the Consumer Financial Protection Initiative and our continued progress in protecting Pennsylvania consumers.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • The department’s Consumer Services Office (CSO) responded to more than 5,400 complaints and inquiries during the reporting period – approximately 5 percent more than the previous year – including questions about deposit accounts (checking/savings), money transmission services, or mortgages.
     
  • Approximately 85 percent of complaints or questions received by CSO are resolved the same day, with an average time of resolution of 4.5 days.
     
  • CSO professionals worked with other regulatory and law enforcement agencies to help consumers resolve their issues or complaints in as streamlined a process as possible. These other organizations include federal agencies, local law enforcement, commonwealth state government partners, and financial services agencies of other states.
     
  • The department’s Investor Education and Consumer Outreach Office staff led, presented, or represented the department at 360 events, reaching more than 17,000 Pennsylvanians across 51 counties.
     
  • Feedback from consumers resulted in the production of a video that explains the amount of interest Pennsylvania consumers can be legally charged when borrowing money. 
     
  • “Lessons Learned” on some of the more common complaints and pervasive consumer issues are included in the report, such as reverse mortgages, debt settlement, checking account overdraft fees, and safe deposit boxes. These sections summarize each issue, what everyone should know, and how the department can offer assistance.

Anyone can contact the Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-600-0007 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.

Consumers and community groups can call 1-800-PA-BANKS or email informed@pa.gov for more information. Members of the public are also invited to connect to the department through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Virginia Lucy - 717.214.4759

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