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House committee holds hearing on CFPA

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Consumer Financial Protection Agency Needed to Ensure Consumers Are Treated Fairly by Banks & Other Financial Service Providers
House Financial Service Committee Holds Hearing Today on CFPA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) will help ensure that consumers get a fair deal when it comes to financial products and services, according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on the CFPA today.
“Dangerous financial products like risky subprime mortgages have undermined millions of American families and ultimately brought our economy to the verge of collapse,” said Gail Hillebrand, Consumers Union’s Financial Services Campaign Manager. “Right now, there is no federal agency whose main job is to be on the look out for unfair banking and credit practices that put consumers at risk. We need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to serve as a watchdog for consumers so their interests will be front and center in Washington.”
Consumer protection will be the sole priority for the CFPA. Its mission will be to provide effective federal oversight of financial products by requiring that these products and services be more transparent, fair and understandable for consumers. The CFPA will be able to gather the information it needs to help consumers make fair and balanced choices based on actual market information. It will have the power to write and enforce rules, to fill the gaps under specific existing consumer protection statutes, and also to anticipate and prevent harm to consumers from new products and practices.
“We’ve learned the hard way that families and our economy suffer when lax government oversight fails to protect consumers from unsafe financial services and products,” said Pam Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. “Making sure that consumers are protected from harmful financial products is essential to reforming our financial system and getting the economy back on track.”

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving 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.