All posts by team

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 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.

In The News: How Should Federal Regulators Respond to the Capital One-Discover Deal (American Banker)

Alexa Philo and Patrick Woodall of Americans for Financial Reform: “Picture a new megabank with all the advantages and dangers of a too-big-to-fail institution. Now imagine it had the market power to bully merchants through its ownership of a payment network for debit and credit cards. Finally, throw in a track record of gouging its own customers. That’s exactly what we will have if Capital One succeeds in taking over Discover Financial Services.”

Events: Alexa Philo, AFR’s Senior Policy Analyst, Joined a Panel for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee

Alexa joined the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee on April 10 to speak to the importance of the regulators’ large bank capital proposals. She explained key parts of the proposal impacting derivatives clearing and why all participants in the commodities derivative markets, whether exchanged traded, cleared, or uncleared, should support the proposals in the interest of a stable, more resilient financial system.