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G20 Summit- Creation of an Experts Group to make recommendations on consumer financial protection

G20 Summit- Creation of an Experts Group to make recommendations on consumer financial protection

October 8, 2010

Michael Froman
Deputy Assistant to the President
Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics
1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 223
Washington, DC 20504

Dear Mr. Froman:

Re: G20 Summit-Seoul, Korea: Creation of an Experts Group to make recommendations on consumer financial protection.

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), a coalition of over 250 national, state and local consumer, labor, and civil rights organizations strongly supports the creation of an Experts Group on Consumer Financial Protection charged with making recommendations to the G20 Summit on effective consumer protection standards for consumers around the world. The Experts Group would consist of representatives from financial consumer protection agencies, independent consumer organizations and others, from both developed and developing nations.

Each year the global economy creates an estimated 150 million new consumers of financial services. Most are in developing countries where consumer protection and financial literacy are still in their infancy. The consumer banking sector is complex, rapidly changing and carries significant risks for individual consumers and the wider economy. The global dimension of financial services and the increasing interdependence of financial markets, as well as the common challenge of effectively regulating complex and fast-moving markets in financial consumer services, adds to the urgency for better regulation of such practices.

At the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in September, 2009, the Leaders’ Statement declared, “[O]ur work is not done. Far more needs to be done to protect consumers, depositors and investors against abusive market practices, promote high quality standards and help to ensure the world does not face a crisis of the scope we have seen.” AFR believes that establishing an Experts Group on consumer financial protection would be an important step towards achieving that goal. International co-operation on financial consumer protection has the potential to deliver substantial savings for national agencies through the co-ordination of research, the development of standards and guidelines, the sharing of best practice and the avoidance of costly crises.

We respectfully ask that you raise this issue with your G20 counterparts and support the establishment of an Experts Group on Financial Consumer Protection at the G20 summit in Seoul.

Thank you for your consideration of this important global issue. If you have any questions, please contact Pamela Banks at 202-462-6262.

Yours sincerely,

Americans for Financial Reform