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AFR in the News

AFR in the News: Wells Fargo Scandal Helps Consumer Advocates in CFPB Rule Fight (Bloomberg BNA)
August 14, 2017 – 5:39 pm

“Consumer groups are invoking Wells Fargo as they seek to persuade a handful of Republican senators to help defeat a potential September vote on a resolution blocking the arbitration rule. ‘We’ve definitely pointed to Wells Fargo as pretty much the poster child for why we need this rule,’ Amanda Werner, campaign manager at consumer groups Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, told Bloomberg BNA.”

AFR in the News: The Great Escape: How Credit Raters Ducked Reform (Bloomberg)
August 2, 2017 – 4:20 pm

“The issuer-pays model remains an incentive for raters to go easy on clients, says Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform… ‘As long as ratings agencies are both central to securities markets and face incentives to inflate ratings and mislead investors, they pose a risk to the financial system…'”

AFR in the News: New U.S. rule on class actions survives first challenge (Reuters)
August 2, 2017 – 4:16 pm

“A new U.S. rule aimed at restoring consumers’ ability to band together to sue financial companies has survived its first challenge, as a top banking regulator on Monday said he would not petition for it to be suspended… ‘The rule is a well thought-out response to the serious consumer harm of forced arbitration,’ said Brian Marshall, policy counsel for advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform.”

TOWS in the News: Progressives revive attacks on Wall Street in health care’s wake (Washington Post)
July 19, 2017 – 10:50 am

“[A]s the seventh anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act approaches Friday, a coalition of progressive groups is pushing the party to get back on offense. The groups… organized under the banner of ‘Take on Wall Street’ — aim to crank up grassroots heat on elected Democrats. They want party leaders, though deep in the minority, to revive some of the get-tough measures they campaigned on last year, when they expected to win at least the White House.”

AFR In the News: Regulator Moves Against Mandatory Arbitration Agreements (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
July 17, 2017 – 4:58 pm

“Since most consumers cannot afford to take on a big corporation on their own, banks like Wells Fargo get away with ripping off large numbers of customers,” Amanda Werner, arbitration campaign manager with Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, said in a statement. “This new rule will help prevent this kind of widespread fraud and ensure consumers can fight back.”

AFR In the NEws: Divide Between Financial Regulators Appointed by Trump, Obama Widens (Reuters)
July 17, 2017 – 4:43 pm

The political fissure between an Obama-appointed financial overseer and regulators hired by U.S. President Donald Trump is widening, with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray threatening to challenge in court any attempt to kill his agency’s new arbitration rule. To overturn a CFPB rule, two-thirds of the FSOC must agree that it puts the whole banking system at risk. “It’s an extraordinarily high standard,” said Brian Marshall, policy counsel for Americans for Financial Reform, a Washington-based advocacy group. “It’s ludicrous that the arbitration rule would meet that standard.”

AFR In the News: Banks’ Imperfect Options for Killing CFPB Arbitration Rule (American Banker)
July 17, 2017 – 4:39 pm

Opponents of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule are eyeing a trio of options for blocking the regulation before it takes effect, but all three are beset with their own challenges. The strategy with the most attention is for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to repeal the rule through the Congressional Review Act. But industry representatives are also considering the prospect of the Financial Stability Oversight Council overruling the regulation, or a group such as the Chamber of Commerce suing to throw the rule out. Yet all three appear to face an uphill climb. “Suggesting now that the rule would put the safety and soundness of the American banking system at risk is preposterous,” said Brian Marshall, policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform. “Many banks do not use forced arbitration clauses at all, and the OCC has never suggested those institutions are not safe and sound as a result.”

AFR in the News: With ‘Rip-off Clause’ Quashed, Consumers Can Now Sue Banks in Class-Action (USA Today)
July 13, 2017 – 3:57 pm

“After years of review on the subject, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau​… declared a new rule Monday that bans banks, credit card companies, payday lenders and other financial firms from requiring consumers to settle group disputes through arbitration.​.. ‘​The biggest step has been taken. This is a huge victory for consumers​,’ said Amanda Werner, campaign manager at Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen. ​’​We expect a lot of misconduct is going to be rooted out sooner.​’​”