sign for the CFPB outside a building

News Release: Stay of CFPB Late Fees Rule Denies Consumers Needed Protection

The decision by a federal judge in the Fifth Circuit to stay a rule capping credit card late fees is a blow not only to consumers but to the rule of law as right-wing jurists resort to increasingly extreme measures to block sensible regulation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on March 5 finalized a regulation that caps credit card late fees at $8 in most cases, down from a typical $32. The rule is expected to save consumers about $10 billion each year, an average savings of $220 per year for the more than 45 million people who are charged late fees. The rule only applies to the largest credit card issuers, and was to have taken effect May 14.

Letter to the Regulators: Emphasizing the Urgent Need to Implement Key Executive Pay Rule, Dodd-Frank Act Section 956

AFREF and Public Citizen led a coalition letter urging the six relevant agencies to implement section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires them to promulgate a rule banning incentive-based executive pay that incentivizes inappropriate risk-taking. A year after the 2023 banking crisis — and almost fourteen years after the statutory mandate was enacted — we do not have a rule to protect consumers, depositors, and the public from executives’ excessive risk-taking.


Fact Sheet: Crypto Harms by the Numbers

The crypto industry paints a picture of crypto as a tool for financial inclusion and economic prosperity. However, when one looks at the actual numbers, the industry’s record tells quite a different story – one of fraud, crime, scams, and economic hardship. Straightforward facts and figures outline the scope and scale of financial loss and harm that the crypto industry has inflicted on consumers and investors in the U.S. and around the world. 

Letters to the Regulators: Letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Outlining the Need for Public, Transparent, and National Data Collection on the Property and Casualty Insurance Market

AFR joined the Consumer Federation of America and 18 other civil rights, housing, and climate advocacy groups in writing this letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners regarding the need for a public, transparent, and national data collection on the property and casualty insurance market.

News Release: Executive Pay Rule Could Reduce Incentives for Reckless Bank Risk Taking

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) voted to propose a rule implementing an important statutory mandate to ban incentive-based executive compensation that encourages reckless risk-taking, but two other regulators – the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission – have yet to do the same. Congress tasked six agencies with promulgating this critical rule when it passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. But only four out of the six were part of today’s proposal — the FDIC, the OCC, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA),  and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

In The News: Banks Sell Loans to Private Credit in Balance Sheet Twist (Bloomberg)

“The major driver of the growth in private credit has always been to get around regulations,” said Andrew Park, a senior policy analyst who focuses on private credit at Americans for Financial Reform, a Washington-based coalition of consumer and investor advocates. He pointed to previous ways risk has shifted to non-bank markets when new rules are imposed. “The answer is not loosening bank regulations but rather properly monitoring and containing the risks in the private-credit market,” he said.

In The News: Can private equity accelerate the green transition? (Financial Times)

Aditi Sen, managing director of research and campaigns at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund … said KKR’s investment in LNG helped fuel a rapid expansion in the US with negative climate impacts. “Like coal-powered plants — there are examples of debt-driven dividend recaps, saddling portfolio companies with interest payments, charging exorbitant management fees; none of that is going to the type of capital-intensive activity that an actual transition would require,” said Sen.

News Release: Landmark report reveals hidden fossil fuel portfolio of private equity titan KKR, finds major underreporting of climate emissions 

With over half a trillion dollars ($553 billion) in assets under management, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) has emerged as a major financier in the energy sector, yet the firm is not required to disclose the full scope of its investments or its impact due to regulatory loopholes. A new report by Private Equity Climate Risks consortium members Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and Global Energy Monitor, 93 Million: The Carbon Emissions KKR Didn’t Disclose, finds that KKR holds investments in 188 fossil fuel assets in 21 countries, spread among the firm’s ownership of 17 portfolio companies. 

Letters to the Regulators: Letter in Support of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Establish Anti-Money Laundering Regulations for Certain Residential Real Estate Transfers

AFR-EF joined with the FACT Coalition and 35 organizations committed to affordable housing to support the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the United States (U.S.) Department of the Treasury (Treasury)’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish anti-money laundering regulations for certain residential real estate transfers. Aspiring homebuyers and renters alike simply should not be forced to compete with anonymous entities – including those concealing criminal or other abusive activity – for limited affordable housing options at ever-inflated prices.

In The News: This New Biden Rule Will Save Americans $2 Billion On Utility Bills (Huffington Post)

Doing so would “decrease burdensome energy costs for future homeowners and renters, which in turn may help lower default risks and loan delinquency rates, and set forth a path to stabilize our shaky housing financial system,” said Jessica Garcia, senior policy analyst for climate finance at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “Implementing up-to-date energy codes will help ease the financial strain on homeowners and renters across the country as they fight to remain housed,” Garcia said. “We are encouraged by HUD’s decision, and urge the Federal Housing Finance Agency to follow suit and swiftly adopt the latest energy efficiency codes.”