All posts by team

News Release: Labor Department’s Final Retirement Security Rules Will Help Protect the Savings of All Americans From Adviser Conflicts of Interest

Members of the Save Our Retirement coalition, along with a diverse collection of more than 60 consumer, retirement, and labor groups, today commended the Department of Labor (DOL) for issuing final rules designed to protect Americans from the harmful effects of conflicts of interest when financial advisers provide retirement investment advice: The rules will require all financial professionals who provide retirement investment advice to put the best interests of their clients ahead of what’s best for their own pockets.  This commonsense requirement is long overdue and promises to be a major improvement over the status quo, which allows too many financial professionals and firms to offer self-serving retirement advice at the expense of workers and retirement savers.

Letters to the Regulators: AFR Submits Filing in Opposition to Capital One Financial Corporation’s Acquisition of Discover Financial Services

AFREF wrote a letter in opposition to the proposed Capital One Financial Corporation acquisition of Discover Financial Services, which would substantially erode competition and disadvantage consumers and merchants. The transaction would create the nation’s biggest credit card lender, one of the biggest banks, and a powerful vertically integrated payments network combined with a branch bank and credit card issuer.

Letters to Congress: Letter in Opposition to H.R. 5535, the “Insurance Data Protection Act” and the Congressional Review Act’s Resolutions Against the SEC’s Climate Financial Risk Disclosure Rule and the Climate-Related Financial Risk Management Principles

AFR and partners submitted a letter to the committee urging members to vote down a series of bills and resolutions that would roll back agency rules, guidance, and authorities to address climate-related financial risk.

Letters to Congress: Letter in Opposition to H.J.Res. 120, a Bill to Obstruct the Financial Stability Oversight Council

AFREF and allies led a letter to oppose H.J.Res.120, a bill to obstruct Financial Stability Oversight Council from carrying out its systemic risk oversight responsibilities based on its systemic risk authority mandated by Dodd Frank. The FSOC’s designation authority is essential for its ability to assess systemic risk, and where necessary, establish oversight of firms that have the potential to propagate and amplify financial shocks throughout the economy, thereby posing real risks of another financial crisis.

Letters to Congress: Letter in Support of Taking Action to Prevent Additional Bank Failures and Safeguard Consumers

Ranking Member Waters announced today the passage of two key bills in response to the Silicon Valley Bank and other bank failures in 2023. These Democratic-led, bipartisan bills, passed during yesterday’s full committee markup, are “aimed at safeguarding consumers and taking steps to prevent additional bank failures following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic, and Signature Bank last year,” according to today’s announcement.

News Release: Committee Majority Lines up with Wall Street in Vote to Roll Back Late Fee Cap

The House Financial Services Committee voted to overturn a regulation capping credit card late fees, putting a majority of its members squarely on the side of big banks that have ripped off consumers for years. The new rule, finalized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on March 5, would reduce the typical late fee on credit cards from $35 to $8, saving consumers $10 billion each year. For the 45 million households that pay late fees, that amounts to an annual savings of $220.

Letter to the Regulators: Comment to Treasury FinCEN Supporting Greater Anti-Money Laundering Screening for Registered Investment Advisers, Exempt Reporting Advisers, and Family Offices

Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund wrote a comment supporting the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposals to require additional anti-money laundering and countering of financial terrorism (CFT) requirements for Registered Investment Advisers (RIA). We also encourage FinCEN to jointly propose rulemaking with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require the collection of beneficial ownership as well as the creation of a Customer Identification Program (CIP). 

SEC Building

Letter to the Regulators: Letter to the SEC on Finalizing the ESG Funds Disclosures Rule to Protect Investors from Greenwashing and Other Misleading Claims

AFREF and 18 additional signatories wrote to the SEC in support of bringing much-needed disclosures to the vast market of ESG-designated products and services. The letter urges the SEC to finalize the rule titled “Enhanced Disclosures by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies about Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices” as soon as possible and recommends changes to the way the proposed rule addresses disclosure of metrics by ESG-Focused Funds. These changes would improve the rule by generating disclosures that better reflect ESG-Focused Funds’ varied strategies and priority metrics while alleviating concerns expressed by some commenters.

Event: Ranking Member Waters, Professor Anat Admati and Professor Jeremy Kress debunked myths about bank capital at Admati’s book event

Americans for Financial Reform, together with Better Markets, welcomed Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics at the Stanford School of Business, together with esteemed panelist, Assistant Professor of Business Law at Michigan Ross, Jeremy Kress, to discuss the recent update to Anat’s co-authored book, The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It, which debunks myths about bank capital.