Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.

Testimony: License to Bank – Examining the Legal Framework Governing Who Can Lend and Process Payments in the Fintech Age

What industry calls “innovation” is often easily mapped to a longstanding financial service and therefore the existing laws should apply. At the same time, certain tools and certain forms of partnerships should have no place in our economy whatsoever. Treating innovation as an unqualified good leads regulators to ignore both considerations of equity and long-term, sustainable innovation. Give the interface between powerful corporations, complex products, and the public, precaution should be the norm, as it is in food and drug regulation.

News Release: Durable Support for Tough Wall Street Rules and Mission of CFPB

Ten years after Congress passed a major reform of Wall Street in response to the financial crisis voters overwhelmingly support more and tougher regulation of finance and they strongly approve of the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And, as the decade after the 2008 crisis unfolded to reveal continuing abuses by Wall Street, and the growth of predatory financial practices, notably by private equity, the public’s appetite for additional reform has strengthened. And the results underscore the need for rigorous oversight to ensure consumers aren’t victimized by unscrupulous lending practices.

Polling Memo: Voters Support Strong Consumer Financial Protections and Tough Regulation of Wall Street

Voters across all political parties are broadly and intensely supportive of strong consumer financial protections and of tough regulation of the financial services industry. This sentiment extends not only to keeping existing measures in place but expanding on what Congress did a decade ago, and has proved durable throughout the period since the 2008 financial crisis, through the weak recovery that followed and into the searing recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement: Statement on SEC Rule on Shareholder Proposals

With this new rule, the SEC is undermining the ability of investors to use the shareholder proposal process to call companies to task on their failures to behave responsibly. Now, it will be much more expensive for small investors to submit shareholder proposals. It will be harder for them to resubmit proposals — a frequent practice — because of higher resubmission thresholds. It’s a gift of new power to irresponsible management and a blow to the cause of corporate accountability.

Letter to Regulator: FDIC Should Avoid Industry-Led Standard Setting Organization

As the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reassesses third-party partnerships regarding financial technology (fintech), we urge it to refrain from delegating its responsibilities to a public-private standard-setting organization (SSO) and instead to develop its own expertise in the context of a robust, precautionary, approach to oversight. Facilitating compliance with SSO standards is not an acceptable means of regulation, nor an acceptable alternative to regulation.

In The News: How to Save the Pandemic Generation (The New Republic)

There’s a looming student debt cliff awaiting us in 2021. With America in the teeth of the Covid-19–enabled economic downturn, lawmakers suspended federal student loan payments for 80 percent of federal student loan borrowers. This measure, which President Donald Trump extended a few weeks ago, is set to expire on New Year’s Eve, which means borrowers will ring in the new year by restarting their student loan payments in one of the worst job markets in a decade.

photo of a student borrower looking sadly at the sky - Photo by Matese Fields on Unsplash

Statement: AFR Applauds Schumer, Warren Resolution Calling on Trump to Cancel Student Debt

We applaud Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Resolution calling on the Trump Administration to cancel student debt. Cancelling student debt will provide both immediate financial relief to millions of Americans, and crucial economic stimulus for everyone during this protracted crisis — boosting GDP and job creation at a time of intense labor shocks and economic contraction.