Landmark Consumer Protections in Wall Street Reform Package Approved In U.S. Senate-House Conference Committee

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Arizona PIRG

Responding to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a U.S. Senate-House conference committee today approved strong legislation to rein in Wall Street and protect consumers, investors and taxpayers from further financial meltdowns. The legislation is expected to be approved and sent to the President in the very near future.

Statement of Arizona PIRG’s Executive Director, Diane E. Brown:

“Today, Congress rejected the self-serving efforts of some two thousand Wall Street lobbyists who spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 18 months to weaken reforms targeting the practices that sparked the financial mess they caused for consumers and taxpayers. Instead, the Senate-House conference committee established a landmark Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, gave small investors and homeowners new protections, reined in risky bank derivatives practices, toughened regulation of financial firms, and set up procedures to shut failing institutions down, if necessary, instead of bailing them out.

Without a doubt, the centerpiece of reform is the establishment of the new, independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with only one job: protecting consumers who buy financial products at banks and non-bank lenders, from mortgage companies to payday lenders. While the bureau will not regulate predatory car dealer practices, a last minute compromise gives the Federal Trade Commission new authority over car dealers who initiate loans.

Final adoption and implementation of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will help consumers and the economy recover from the financial meltdown that cost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in home and retirement fund value.”