In The News: Big Tech Wants Your Paycheck (The Lever)

Although the ALEC bill offers some form of consumer protection from civil suits and collection agencies, it is really “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Christine Chen Zinner, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit focused on consumer protection and an ethical financial system. “I like to think of these as workplace payday loans, because that’s really what they are, they are a loan,” Chen Zinner told The Lever. “There’s an expectation to be repaid, there’s a consequence if they aren’t repaid, so it’s really a loan.”

Blog: How Many Banking Crises Until We Rein in Wall Street Pay?

AFREF hosted a webinar to address the urgent need for regulations on incentive-based executive compensation. The discussion, led by Natalia Renta, focused on the importance of implementing Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act to protect consumers and the financial system. Insights from SEC Commissioner Lizárraga and experts from labor unions and advocacy organizations highlighted the ongoing risks and impacts of misaligned incentives.

Blog: Yet Another Anti-ESG Congressional Hearing 

The recent congressional hearing on Wednesday, June 12th, about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, featured unfounded, culture war-laden antitrust claims that witnesses and minority leaders easily debunked. During the spectacle, some members of Congress targeted witnesses from a sustainability nonprofit (Ceres), a public pension fund providing retirement security to over two million workers (CalPERS), and an impact investor (Arjuna Capital). These witnesses and others provided reasoned defenses of responsible investing, highlighting its importance for long-term financial stability, risk-management, and climate resilience.

In The News: Banks, Consumer Groups Tell US Regulators to Unify Merger Plans (Bloomberg)

The Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund said in an April 15 letter that the OCC is still too predisposed to approve deals, despite the focus on negative merger characteristics in the national bank regulator’s proposed policy statement. “The thematic flaw in the proposed policy statement is that its fundamental orientation is to approve mergers and not to evaluate merger applications,” the group said.

In The News: Conservatives set the stage for another CFPB funding fight (The Hill)

Christine Zinner, senior consumer policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform, suggested that the financial services industry is “really scraping the bottom of the barrel” with the latest arguments. “Wall Street and predatory lenders will never give up trying to stop the CFPB,” she said in a statement. “An agency devoted to fighting such powerful interests will never be home free.”

seal for the US house of representatives

Statement: To the House Financial Services Committee Hearing On “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection”

Americans for Financial Reform appreciates the opportunity to provide a Statement for the Record for the House Financial Services Committee Hearing on “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.” In the thirteen years since its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has and continues to vigorously protect consumers, increase marketplace transparency, and end unfair business practices through impactful rulemakings and enforcement actions.

Blog: Wall Street Lobby Surfaces New Nonsensical Legal Claim Over CFPB Funding

Last month the Supreme Court delivered a crushing defeat to Wall Street’s challenge to funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Undeterred, Wall Street is now trying to distort the Supreme Court’s decision to conjure up a new and utterly nonsensical argument about the legality of the CFPB’s funding. The trial balloon for this argument was launched in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Hal Scott, a retired Harvard Law professor and longtime industry shill whose specialty is neither consumer nor constitutional issues but international finance. Scott’s notion has already been swatted down by several credentialed legal experts of various political stripes.

News Release: Removal of Medical Debt From Credit Reports Will Curb Abuses

The proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to eliminate medical debt on credit reports would, if fully implemented, curb harmful practices such as distorted credit reports and abusive debt collection. As part of a broader initiative to improve the credit reporting system, the CFPB has proposed a new rule  that would stop credit reporting agencies from including medical debts and collection information on consumer credit reports, and prohibit the information from being  considered in underwriting decisions. The CFPB is now seeking public comment on this consumer protection proposal.