Wednesday, June 6th
Don't Allow Congress to Gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
As reported today by NBC News:
Republicans in Congress are focused on eliminating regulations — including many put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act following the financial crisis that peaked in 2008. The Financial CHOICE Act, which passed the House Financial Services Committee on a 34-26 party line vote last week, is the first attempt to do that. The CHOICE Act would do more than reduce financial regulations enacted under the Obama administration. It also targets the CFPB, the regulatory agency created by Dodd-Frank to police the financial marketplace. Among other things, the bill would:
- Strip away the agency’s authority to regulate large banks and payday lenders
- Remove its power to prosecute companies that engage in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices
- Eliminate independent funding from the Federal Reserve Bank and give Congress the power to set the CFPB’s budget
- Allow Congress to kill any major financial rules proposed by the agency; both houses would have to give their approval within 60 days
- Stop public access to the CFPB’s database of more than 1.1 million consumer complaints.
Consumer advocates argue that the bill would cripple the CFPB’s ability to protect consumers and give special interest groups a way to influence regulation of the financial system through the congressional appropriations and approval process.
“The bill neuters the CFPB and would leave consumers more vulnerable to financial scams, hidden fees and costly gotchas that can undermine their financial security,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union (CU), the policy arm of Consumer Reports. CU has launched a petition campaign to kill the bill.
The House vote on the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R 10) is this week. The act would relieve retirement advisors of any obligation to put clients' interests first; it would restrict the right of customers ripped off by banks (think Wells Fargo) to go to court by demanding forced arbitration; it would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Action You Can Take Today
Public Citizen urges us to contact our Representatives immediately. Visit http://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13526 and our own info page for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-19).
Bonus Action: Take a moment to visit the CFPB website - tons of interesting information there!