Washington, D.C. – The record Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settlement with Wells Fargo over widespread wrongdoing in providing auto loans, mortgages, and deposit accounts represents an opportunity for all federal regulators to force durable change at the oft-penalized megabank.
Today, 29 groups called on federal bank regulators to finally draft a plan to strengthen the merger guidelines to mitigate the adverse effects of bank consolidation, which include increased evictions, higher rates of debt collection, and decreased access to credit for consumers and businesses.
Federal banking regulators should ensure that banks advance financial inclusion, further racial justice in lending and avoid making loans or investments that harm the environment or cause housing displacement, a group of public interest organizations argued today.
“When we talk about the [North Carolina] bathroom bills of 2016 and 2017 compared to now, my first response is, well, they haven’t felt that the public pressure that they would be feeling to do something is worth more than the financial benefit they have from doing nothing,” said Mandla Deskins, an advocacy manager for Take on Wall Street, an activist coalition that pushes for financial reform. “That is the calculation that I would assume banks are always making,” Deskins added, “because it’s not like they have some long-standing position against hate.”