Postings

Consumer advocates oppose loosening rules for FinTech providers
Consumer Action joined a coalition of 50 public interest groups in sharply criticizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposal to gut important consumer protection rules, especially for FinTech companies, arguing the agency does not have the authority to create potentially unlimited exemptions from the very regulations that the CFPB is obligated to enforce.

Senate should reject Kraninger for CFPB Director
Eighty civil rights and consumers groups wrote to Congress, urging a “no” vote on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Kraninger has no record of protecting consumers or standing up to powerful Wall Street special interests—key traits we all want in America’s chief consumer advocate. Americans deserve a consumer champion at the CFPB, not someone will continue Mick Mulvaney’s anti-consumer agenda.

It’s buyer beware with the SEC’s latest best interest proposal
Coalition advocates called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify its proposed “best interest” standard, and asked that it make the required disclosures much easier to understand for consumers. They also asked the SEC make the standard no less stringent than the Advisers Act fiduciary standard. Otherwise, unsuspecting investors may not be aware that their advisers are selling them products they don’t need in order to turn a profit.

The CFPB’s consumer education programs must be protected
In open comments to the agency, advocates urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to keep its education programs, just one component in its set of consumer protection tools. Other Bureau responsibilities, including its enforcement and rulemaking authority, should also be utilized to fully protect consumers in accordance with the CFPB’s mission.

Policy riders are a shady attempt at regulating CFPB
Friends of Wall Street and the banking industry in Congress want to remove the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from under the Federal Reserve System where it is currently housed and funded. Instead, they want to relegate it to the appropriations process in hopes of sabotaging its independence—a key element in overseeing the consumer finance markets.

Save retirement rule, advocacy groups urge lawmakers
Consumer Action joined its allies in the Save Our Retirement coalition in a letter to Congressional leadership objecting to an effort to roll back Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary protections through a rider on the current spending bill.

Pell Grants remain in jeopardy, impacting vulnerable low-income students
Student debt is hitting record highs and low-income students already graduate with the most debt. Yet some in Congress are planning to raid Pell Grant funds to spend them on other programs. These Pell funds are reserved to help make sure the most financially vulnerable college students don't have to borrow even more. Pell Grants are essential for providing low- and middle-income students the opportunity to attend and complete college, and pursue careers in an economy that increasingly requires a postsecondary education.

Enough with the sneaky and harmful policy riders
Appropriations bills continue to be misused to undermine essential consumer and environmental safeguards through poisonous policy riders. Enough is enough! Advocates are asking Congress to oppose any FY 2018 bills that contain controversial riders regarding unpopular and dangerous initiatives that would otherwise never pass on their own.

Fiduciary rule should extend to non-retirement accounts too
The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule requires anyone providing investment advice regarding retirement accounts to avoid recommendations that create conflicts of interest. But why isn’t the rule applied to non-retirement investment accounts as well? In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, advocates press for broader protections for investors, including a best interest standard for all personalized investment recommendations.

No room for ideological riders in our nation’s budget
Earlier this year, hundreds of riders – most of them special favors for big corporations and ideological extremists – were proposed as a part of the FY17 omnibus process. The Clean Budget Coalition and its allies in Congress blocked most of them. Now, with the FY18 budget process getting underway, some members of Congress once again are insisting on including riders. The coalition maintains that these measures, which have nothing to do with funding our government, have no place in the appropriations process.

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