Columnist Jeff Gelles recently wrote this piece about the importance of creating an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). He focuses on the way current regulators, specifically the OCC, failed to do anything to effectively protect consumers. He speaks of one man’s trouble with abusive interest rate changes on an MBNA credit card and says:
Hrebiniak was able to pay off his balance and close the account. But in sympathy with consumers who lacked that easy out, he complained to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency that oversees national banks. So did thousands of other consumers.
And a little more than a year later, the OCC finally acted: It issued an advisory letter, with a stern admonishment to credit card banks. Basically, it told card issuers to do a better job of warning customers they could be shafted.
(Thanks to our friends at the Consumer Law and Policy Blog for bringing this to our attention.)