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Banks, ranked by number of consumer complaints

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer
FILE – This Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. Wells Fargo stands to benefit from the new tax overhaul. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is famous for pursuing enforcement actions that slap the wrists of financial institutions that misstep — like Wells Fargo’s $100 million fine for making millions of fake accounts in consumers’ names. But they are also one of the biggest repositories for consumer complaints.

The CFPB complaint database, which began compiling grievances in 2011, lets consumers get timely responses from companies they’re having problems with and has been a tool the Bureau has used to identify areas of misbehavior. Complaints are posted if left unaddressed by a company after 15 days, or are published with a response if one comes in.

The database is public, and anyone can download the 431-megabyte spreadsheet of information — unless the current director Mick Mulvaney, appointed by President Trump, decides to cease making it available.

LendEDU, a student loan refinancing website, analyzed the data and set up a ranking of banks by complaints, both banking-related and general.

Sitting at the top of both lists is the TCF Financial Corporation (TCF), a bank that pulled in almost twice as many complaints per $1 billion in deposits as the next, Suntrust (STI). TCF has been sued by the CFPB for overdraft fees, but partially won the fight when a judge tossed out a CFPB claim in September. TCF took home top dishonors in 2016 as well.

In complaints per deposits, Wells Fargo (WFC) actually fell significantly from third place to eighth. But if you count complaints in absolute number terms, however, Wells Fargo and Bank of America (BAC) are at the top with over 8,000 complaints each, due to their massive size. Each one has around $1.3 trillion in deposits.

Impressively, however, a few very large banks had no CFPB complaints at all. Silicon Valley Bank’s parent SVB Financial Group has almost $45 billion in assets and had no complaints. New York-based Signature Bank (SBNY), with $33 billion in assets, also got no gripes. Both banks are significantly larger than TCF, which has $18 billion in assets.

Find your bank on the list here.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann. Confidential tip line: FinanceTips[at]oath[.com].

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