Washington, D.C. — CFA strongly opposes the Financial CHOICE Act and outlined that opposition in a letter sent to the House Financial Services Committee. This harmful bill is the subject of a Congressional hearing today. CFA summarizes its concerns in the following statement:
The Financial CHOICE Act is by and large a deregulatory wish-list from special interests that would endanger consumers by repealing many of the significant achievements in the Dodd-Frank Act and other critical laws designed to ensure consumers, investors, and honest market participants are appropriately protected from harm in the marketplace. They were enacted after the greatest financial disaster in generations, driven by an under-regulated market and Wall Street practices that preyed on consumers and endangered the entire economy. Without such protections, consumers and investors will be exposed to greater risk of being harmed in concrete ways and the financial system will be exposed to greater risk of instability and crises.
This bill will put our financial marketplace in a weaker position than it was before the crisis, making American consumers more vulnerable and more at risk. This bill does not create financial choices for consumers; it creates a financial marketplace of no fair choices. It creates a financial marketplace with higher risk, without a regulator with the authority, resources and independence to minimize risks for consumers. It would remove the key protections enacted after the crisis to restore a greater alignment of interests in the financial market among consumers, lenders, investors and taxpayers. This is not a choice that any consumer would knowingly make or that Congress should adopt.
Congress should not fool itself that the financial crisis, which destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth and wreaked havoc on the financial lives of millions of families, was a random event. As noted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, widespread failures in financial regulation and rampant predatory lending practices were key drivers of the crisis. The bill appears to completely ignore the lessons learned from this devastating event in our nation’s history.
Contacts: Rohit Chopra, 202-939-1018 (Consumer Finance)
Micah Hauptman, 202-939-1004 (Investor Protections)
Bob Hunter, 703-528-0062 (Insurance)
Barbara Roper, 719-543-9468 (Investor Protections)
Rachel Weintraub, 202-939-1012 (CFPB)
Barry Zigas, 202-679-0169 (Housing)
The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.