Don’t turn back the clock on consumer financial protections

Release Date: 
June 2, 2017
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Note: The majority leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives today announced that the chamber will vote next week on H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. Below is our statement.

For Immediate Release:             

Don’t turn back the clock on consumer financial protections

Statement of Ira Rheingold, Executive Director, National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)

Less than a decade ago, the reckless actions of big banks and predatory lenders nearly brought down the U.S. economy. Now bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to pass a dangerous bill, the Financial CHOICE Act, that would almost certainly take Americans back to a period of dramatic losses of homes, jobs, businesses, and economic security.

Most appalling for consumers are the provisions in the bill that would sabotage the work and mission of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency is working to address some of the worst unfair, abusive, and deceptive practices that have cheated and ripped off consumers in banking, lending, credit reporting, debt collection, and other areas.

Because of the CFPB’s work, billions of dollars have been returned to consumers, and the agency has brought much-needed improvements to financial industry practices. Yet this legislation would interfere with the CFPB’s mission to bring back fairness to a marketplace that desperately needs it. If this bill is enacted and the CFPB is defanged, American consumers once again would become much more vulnerable to predatory financial schemes while big banks would be let off the hook.

Lawmakers should act in the public interest and focus on ordinary Americans’ needs instead of on the excessive demands of the financial industry.