American Bankers Association – How Wrong Can They Be?

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2010

ABA’s Account: The subprime mortgage market collapse does “not warrant a fundamental overhaul of the basic regulatory structure. Banking regulators… have since responded in a coordinated and measured way to preserve both confidence and liquidity in the banking system.” – American Bankers Association President Ed Yingling, November 20, 2007

How wrong could they be: Mass foreclosures will continue until 2013.

Washington, DC – As the American Bankers Association swarms Capitol Hill this week in yet another attempt to avoid accountability for the financial crisis, Americans for Financial Reform is asking Members of Congress to consider what past statements from the groups’ president Ed Yingling reveal about how he has fundamentally misunderstood the role the big banks he represents have played in this financial crisis.

Heather Booth, Executive Director, Americans for Financial Reform: “Why would you even entertain advice from an Association who represents those who created this financial crisis and is led by someone who has – time and time again – been fundamentally wrong about the how unchecked greed made possible by lack of regulation has led to the near collapse of the banks he represents? The American Bankers Association can continue to profess they have all the answers in solving our economic woes, but the record speaks for itself.  We need real financial reform that will crack down on greedy and abusive behavior by banks to prevent another financial crisis. Clearly, because it might cut into their million dollar paydays, that’s not going to be the talking points for those ABA members on the Hill this week.”

FLASHBACK: ABA’s Account vs. Reality

ABA’s Account: In April 26, 2007, ABA President Ed Yingling, commenting on why there’s no need to reform credit card companies practices, said,  “…the highly competitive nature of the [credit] card market puts consumers in the driver’s seat. For example, we have seen that features that are unpopular with consumers often are competed away.”

How wrong could they be: As the public knows all too well, the credit companies continue with outrageous fees, stopping only where specifically prohibited by law, like the CARD Act that Congress that went into effect last month.

ABA’s Account: On September 27, 2006, when discussing expanding accountability of big banks ABA President Ed Yingling said, “Congress [should] permit the regulators to continue doing what they do best, namely, rigorously apply safety and soundness principles in an environment that permits banks to grow and serve their communities.”

How wrong could they be: The banks reckless behavior and the regulators’ failure to act caused the largest financial collapse since the Great Depression.