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

News Release: House-Passed Crypto Bill Risks Investor Harm and Financial Instability

The cryptocurrency bill passed by dozens of House Democrats and most Republicans at the behest of a free-spending industry lobby lacks effective protections for consumers, establishes weak rules for this fraud-ridden industry and contains loopholes that could undermine regulatory safeguards for all investors and consumers. The influx of crypto political spending this election year – notably millions in negative ads in California’s Senate primary – loomed large in this vote. Crypto super PACs, largely financed by a handful of wealthy Silicon Valley tech donors, have pledged to spend tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars this election cycle. 

In The News: House crypto bill sows the seeds of the next financial crisis (The Hill)

The bill’s worst feature rewrites longstanding securities law for crypto’s benefit by exempting a large set of crypto products from the definition of “security” in the SEC’s authorizing law, even though many crypto products clearly are securities and should be regulated as such. This loophole would erode key protections for crypto buyers and create a roadmap for traditional Wall Street firms to evade existing rules, which could further fuel risky speculation and harm a wider array of investors, even if they never touch crypto.

Cryptocurrency

News Release: House Crypto Bill Faces Broad Opposition from Public Interest Voices

As the House meets this Wednesday to vote on a bill that would create a new federal framework for crypto regulation, labor unions, consumer and investor protection organizations and experts are raising the alarm about the bill’s potential to cause serious consumer and investor harm. Americans for Financial Reform and Demand Progress joined more than 30 national and state organizations and academic scholars and thought leaders with financial regulatory expertise in sending a letter to Congress expressing opposition to H.R. 4763, The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (“FIT” Act).

In The News: Supreme Court rebuffs challenge to consumer protection agency (NBC)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who proposed that the bureau be created and helped set it up, welcomed the decision in a celebratory appearance outside the Supreme Court building… Consumer advocates and financial services industry critics expressed relief about Thursday’s ruling. “This decision removes a major threat to the agency’s work and reaffirms the independence that allows it to continue standing up for the public interest against abusive financial practices,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund.

Event: Senator Warren, AFR, Celebrate Victory in CFPB Case on Supreme Court Steps

Americans for Financial Reform joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other coalition members on the steps of the Supreme Court Thursday to celebrate the Court’s favorable ruling in CFPB vs. CFSA, a case in which the payday lending lobby, with the support of Wall Street, sought to destroy the funding mechanism of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Letters to Congress: Letter in Opposition of Egregious Deregulatory Bills Scheduled for Markup

AFR and partners led a letter opposing a set of financial institution bills scheduled for markup tomorrow, May 17th in the House. Title I of the first bill (H.R. 8337) is particularly egregious and would result in ~100 banking organizations being removed from CFPB oversight, among other negative consequences for Qualified mortgage requirements, the Durbin amendment cap, the Volcker rule and others. H.R. 758 compromises safety and soundness standards while not addressing the root causes of de novo bank challenges. 

Letters to Congress: Letter to the House Financial Services Committee in Opposition to Profoundly Damaging Legislation

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) wrote a letter to the House Financial Services Committee expressing our strong opposition to legislation that the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) is scheduled to consider this week that would amend the federal securities laws in ways that could be profoundly damaging to American workers and “mom and pop” investors.

News Release: Supreme Court Delivers Rare Good News for Consumers

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the funding method Congress chose for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, allowing a vital agency to continue its work in holding Wall Street and predatory lenders to account, and promoting economic and racial justice. The case stems from a lawsuit against the CFPB brought by the Community Financial Services Association over a regulation that prohibited lenders from withdrawing funds from consumer accounts after two failed attempts due to lack of funds. CFSA, a lobby group for payday lenders, argued that the CFPB’s funding, which is drawn from the Federal Reserve, is unconstitutional. 

Letters to Congress: Letter to The House Financial Services Committee in Opposition to Legislation That Erodes Consumer Protections

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and partners led a letter the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) to express our opposition to a legislation package that the committee is scheduled to markup this week. The collection of bills would erode consumer protections, enable predatory lenders, and hamstring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability to fulfill its mandate