March 23, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2009 — Gail Hillebrand, the manager for Consumers Union’s financial services campaign, will testify before the Senate Banking Committee at a March 24 hearing on modernizing bank supervision and regulation. Consumers Union is the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
Ms. Hillebrand will speak in support of improving consumer protections in financial services. Consumers Union is asking the committee to consider looking beyond a systemic risk regulator to provide a “household risk regulator” — a stronger system to reduce the risk of financial products to consumers.
CU will recommend three steps: a change in the culture of federal banking agencies, a new commission on financial product safety to minimize unreasonable risk in financial products, and the application of state consumer protection laws to banks, including the largest national institutions.
“Creating a systemic risk regulator without reducing household risk through effective consumer protection would be like replacing the plumbing of our financial system with new pipes, but still letting poisoned water flow through the pipes,” Hillebrand said.
A copy of Ms. Hillebrand’s formal testimony for the Senate Banking Committee hearing can be found on the Consumers Union web site at: http://www.defendyourdollars.org/pdf/Sen-Bank-Test-032409.pdf
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving on the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.