Release Date: November 10, 2009
Washington, D.C.—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization, applauds the introduction of the financial reform bill unveiled today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), seeking to consolidate federal responsibility for banking oversight, now assigned to four agencies, into a single regulator.
“The disastrous consequences of ineffective regulation of consumer financial products is self-evident in the millions of home foreclosures nationwide, the growing credit card debt load of too many American families, and an out-of-control payday lending industry,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “We applaud Senator Dodd for his leadership in introducing common sense legislation that will help protect millions of American consumers from unsafe financial products and services.”
This summer, NCL signed onto testimony, with nearly two dozen other consumer and civil rights organizations, delivered to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs calling for greater oversight of the consumer financial product market. NCL and other consumer advocates have called for greater oversight of the financial products and services industry for a number of reasons:
- The inability of the current system of financial product regulation has led to staggering losses. Between October and December 2008, families lost $5 trillion in household wealth. An effective regulatory regime could have prevented much of this pain.
- There is an overriding need for a financial regulator that makes its consumer protection mission a priority. The current financial regulatory system places “safety and soundness” supervision – and the attendant bank profitability – ahead of the need to ensure that unsafe financial products are not marketed to consumers.
- Consumers would benefit from a common-sense floor, not a ceiling, for financial product regulation that promotes innovation while ensuring transparency, simplicity, and fairness.
The National Consumers League has been fighting for the rights of consumers and workers since its founding in 1899. The League was instrumental in seeking a safety net for Americans during the Great Depression and in the New Deal years, writing legislation to gain passage of minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, social security, and health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The League continues to champion the fair treatment and protections for all consumers and workers in today’s marketplace.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.