As you may know, October is observed as Conflict Resolution Month. This October is of particular significance, as October 11 marks the first ever Ombuds Day! This day is to increase awareness and understanding of the ombudsman profession. Many organizations worldwide—from all levels of government, private industry, and educational institutions—have a resource dedicated to this unique approach to resolving conflicts with their organizations. The ombudsman employs alternate ways to informally resolve conflict and advocates for a fair process rather than someone’s desired outcome. An ombudsman is an independent, impartial, and confidential resource, which helps the organization and the people who contact the ombudsman address process issues that could impact the organization and the community that it serves.
At the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office, we are an independent, impartial, and confidential resource that helps consumers, financial entities, and others, resolve process issues arising from their interactions with the Bureau. In short, we advocate for fair process in consumer financial protection. You can reach us anytime, but we ask that you first try the regular avenues that the Bureau provides to resolve the issue unless you wish to reach us in confidence.
Some ways the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office provides assistance include:
- Facilitating discussions
- Brainstorming and evaluating options and resources
- Offering an impartial perspective
- Engaging in shuttle diplomacy
- Providing feedback
- Making recommendations
As you celebrate the inaugural Ombuds Day with us, we encourage you to learn more about how we may assist you. We look forward to hearing from you.
Wendy Kamenshine is the Ombudsman for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.