Financial Reform

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Bank, Credit Union and Consumer Groups Applaud Vote to Close ILC Loophole

A "strange  bedfellows" coalition of bank and credit union trade associations and consumer groups applauded committee passage of a bipartisan bill to deny Big Tech firms from circumventing existing rules to enter the banking system. The “Close the ILC Loophole Act” (H.R. 5912) preserves the longstanding separation of banking and commerce. 

UPDATE: More on alleged Zelle app fraud in NYTimes

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The NYTimes reports that "When Customers Say Their Money Was Stolen on Zelle, Banks Often Refuse to Pay." We did a report last year on consumer complaints about Zelle and similar apps.

CFPB wants public input on big bank obstacle course to get customer service

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

CFPB director Rohit Chopra today announced a request for information about your experiences with your bank. “Customers of large banks should not have to run through an obstacle course to get a straight answer about their account. We are taking steps to ensure the legally enshrined right to obtain basic customer service.”

Cover image via Flickr by Stevan Sheets, WWC Fall Family Fest, Some rights reserved.

Update: CFPB finds military servicemembers harmed by credit reports & debt collectors

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

From the CFPB's Office of Servicemember Affairs' recent annual report: Servicemembers told the CFPB about billing inaccuracies and that debt collectors used aggressive tactics to recover allegedly unpaid medical bills. Servicemembers also reported failures by credit reporting companies in helping to resolve inaccuracies and other credit reporting issues.

UPDATE: Apple Launches BNPL Product: Apple Pay Later

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Apple is joining the parade of competitors in the more and more crowded "Buy Now, Pay Later" space, with its version of "pay in four," called Apple Pay Later.

UPDATE: Buy Now, Pay Later Firms Face A Reckoning

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Buy Now, Pay Later firms that promised a "credit revolution" face a reckoning as the business model stalls in a tough economy. We are shocked, shocked.

FTC consumer chief calls industry's false privacy choices "coercion"

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Wow. The FTC's consumer chief gave a powerful speech this week that essentially said "privacy notice and choice" are not enough in a surveillance-based economy. "When we’re expecting consumers to have to choose between participating in the digital economy and protecting their privacy, we’re not giving them a choice at all – what we’re really describing is coercion."

Cover image by g4||4is "Privacy. The "i" is a lock" via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Senate Commerce to vote to restore FTC power to compensate victims of corporate wrongdoers

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last year, the Supreme Court eliminated the FTC's key authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers and use the money to compensate their victims. It was an unfortunate decision that benefited a convicted payday lender who fleeced thousands of victims and will allow brand name Big Pharma firms that block lower-cost generic competitors and other wrongdoers to escape billions of dollars in restitution. The Senate Commerce Committee is voting tomorrow on a bill to restore FTC powers.

-- Cover graphic of FTC Building via Flickr, by Boston Public Library, Some rights reserved.

Resource | Financial Reform

Coalition urges Senate to restore FTC powers to penalize wrongdoers and compensate victims

Coalition letter in support of S. 4145, the Consumer Protection Remedies Act of 2022. This bill would restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to stop misconduct in the marketplace, and critically, to provide timely refunds and equitable relief to victims of consumer fraud and deception. A Supreme Court decision had held that the FTC's powers did not extend to providing refunds derived from disgorging profits from wrongdoers. 

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