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Consumers Union criticizes the House of Representatives’ approval of the CHOICE Act

Bill cripples the CFPB’s ability to protect consumers from financial industry abuses 

June 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the Financial CHOICE Act (HR 10), a bill that was opposed by Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, because it severely undermines the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to challenge unfair and abusive financial practices.

“Supporters of this misguided legislation appear to have forgotten how weak consumer protections helped trigger the financial crisis that cratered our economy and hurt millions of Americans,” said Pamela Banks senior counsel for Consumers Union.  “This bill cripples the CFPB’s ability to stand up to the big banks and predatory lenders and puts hardworking families at risk of losing their money to unfair financial practices.  We need a strong financial watchdog to protect our wallets from hidden fees and abusive lending practices.  The Senate should reject this rollback of critical consumer protections.”

The CFPB was established as part of the measures passed by Congress in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.  It works to ensure consumers are treated fairly by establishing basic standards that banks and other financial companies must follow and by policing abuses in the marketplace. Since the CFPB opened its doors in 2011, it has won almost $12 billion in refunds and relief for an estimated 29 million Americans who’ve been defrauded by financial companies.

HR 10, sponsored by Representative Jeb Hensarling (TX), strips the CFPB of its power to supervise and examine big banks and stops them from challenging unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices by banks and other financial firms.  For a full summary of how HR 10 would weaken the CFPB, see Consumers Union’s letter to the House of Representatives urging lawmakers to oppose the bill.

Contact:  Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-431-6747, ext 7606 (office), 415-902-9537 (cell)