Financial Reform

The CFPB Wants Your Help Investigating BigTech Payment Apps

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The CFPB has asked BigTech giants including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square to answer questions about their payment system practices. The CFPB has also asked consumers, small businesses and others for comments (including complaints), which are due on December 6. Learn more.

Graphic from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine's first crawl of the new CFPB's new website, February 8, 2011.

Should you buy now and pay later?

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the Task Force on Financial Technology of the House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing titled “Buy Now, Pay More Later? Investigating Risks and Benefits of BNPL and Other Emerging Fintech Cash Flow Products.” Learn more.

Image of hand and smartphone "Sezzle" courtesy The Focal Project via Flickr, some rights reserved.

CFPB's Chopra Seeks To Increase Competition in Consumer Markets

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In testimony this morning before the House and tomorrow morning before the Senate, newly-confirmed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Rohit Chopra will lay out his vision for the federal financial agency with just one job, protecting consumers.

Broadband is the "new electricity"

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The House should pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill on the House floor this week. Among other provisions, it allocates $65 billion to make fast broadband more available -- especially in rural and tribal areas -- and more affordable. That total includes about $14 billion to subsidize access and about $42 billion to deploy broadband. Also, broadband providers would be required to use a new pricing label based on the easy-to-read FDA nutrition labels.

Photo of "Rural Broadband Buildout Project" by Maryland GovPics, via Flickr, some rights reserved.

Efforts continue to make climate change a financial regulatory priority

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Half the country faces fire and wind, the other half wind, rain and flood. Despite nay-saying from some members of Congress, the Biden administration's financial regulators continue to make the global climate change crisis a financial regulatory priority. 

Cover graphic by Ron Mader via Flickr, some rights reserved.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Consumer Advocates Urge Court to Block Use of Findings of Unlawful Trump-Era CFPB Taskforce

Democracy Forward, the attorneys for U.S. PIRG, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Professor Kathleen Engel, filed a motion for summary judgement Friday in U.S. Court in our lawsuit against the Trump-era CFPB's so-called Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law.

Will Executive Order Slow The March of the Mega-Banks?

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

President Biden's recent Executive Order on promoting competition in the economy includes several specific recommendations on improving competition in the financial sector. It proposes that the CFPB give consumers more choices by giving them control of their financial data. It proposes that regulators strengthen oversight of bank mergers, which for years have been routinely rubber-stamped. While it doesn't specifically address the payment system oligopoly that raises the prices everyone pays, lowering swipe fees is also a logical outcome of the EO.

Cover photo of the Marriner Eccles Federal Reserve Building, Washington, DC by Rafael Saldaña via Flickr, Some Rights Reserved.

House to take key vote to protect consumers today

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the U.S. House takes a key vote. HR2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, would restore the FTC's Section 13(b) authority to hold wrongdoers accountable and compensate consumer-victims harmed by their actions. The Supreme Court had recently ruled that the power, used for over 40 years to recover billions, was not clearly articulated in law.

Cover photo via Flickr by Mr. Blue MauMau, some rights reserved.

House to vote on restoring FTC powers to compensate victims of corporate crime

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Next week, the full House of  Representatives is expected to vote on HR2668, critical legislation to restore Federal Trade Commission authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers to use to compensate victims of the crime. This spring, the Supreme Court had held that the power was not clearly defined in law, even though courts had upheld the authority for many years, allowing the FTC to return billions of dollars  to consumers.

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

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