Financial Consumers Association
Since early 2009, we have pressed members of Congress to reintroduce and pass a version of the Consumer and Shareholder Protection Act, a bill introduced by former Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), and intended to establish a nonprofit, democratically-controlled, nationwide membership association (a Financial Consumers Association) that would serve and represent the public interest on consumer issues, specifically those relating to the financial sector. Senator Schumer has now introduced an amendment (#3772) to S. 3217, the Restoring America to Financial Stability Act of 2010, that would achieve this goal.
A Financial Consumer Association would be a federally chartered, nationwide, citizen-run, membership association of financial consumers. It would serve as an institutionalized, independent watchdog for the financial industry. In addition to keeping an eye on the financial industry, the FCA’s full-time staff would monitor legislative and regulatory activities and lobby for pro-consumer reforms. It would also represent financial consumers before regulatory agencies, Congress, state legislatures and the courts and thereby serve as an important countervailing force to the power and influence of the financial industry.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
From mid-year 2009 through January 4, 2012, Citizen Works staff and volunteers supported and blogged about the passage of a strong Dodd-Frank Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Citizen Works representatives met with Elizabeth Warren as she set up the CFPB and Richard Cordray the former director of the CFPB as well as Commissioners and lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission to advocate for stronger consumer protections. See also faircontracts.org for additional initiatives.