Federal Banking Regulatory Reform
Banking regulations can have a huge impact on the financial services options available to low-wealth communities and communities of color. Woodstock Institute educates community groups on regulatory issues and regularly comments on pending regulatory proposals.
In this first part of our Theory of Change series of blog posts and images, Woodstock President Dory Rand explains the ways in which Woodstock Institute is working to achieve our mission of creating a just financial system in which lower-wealth people and communities, and people and communities of color, can achieve economic security and community prosperity. In this series, our research and policy staff will discuss the strategies we use to effect positive, lasting financial systems change.
A proposal to relax federal standards in mortgage lending and bank regulation could undo years of work to enhance consumer protections and prevent financial crises. U.S. Senate Banking Committee chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) proposed legislation that would change criteria used to define big banks, sharply reducing the number of banks that would fall under federal regulation, as well as loosen mortgage lending standards. The proposal will be marked up tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. CT. Woodstock Institute is firmly opposed to these proposed changes.
By Juliette Fairley
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Some 50% of Americans who fall into overdraft do so, because they don’t know their account balance, according to a recent survey from GoBankingRates. That lack of knowledge is extra dangerous when it comes to the overdraft policies of banks, and consumer advocates are fighting back to end these misleading overdraft bank policies that prey on consumers.
Mortgage data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) allows researchers and advocates to examine trends in the mortgage and housing market and, more importantly, detect patterns of discrimination.
By Herb Weisbaum
Checking accounts—and the debit cards that come with them—should be a simple and straightforward way to handle routine financial transactions. And yet, many people simply don't understand the overdraft policies at their bank or credit union.
By Kevin Wack
For the last four years, U.S. regulators have been requiring banks to offer their customers a choice on overdraft fees. And in response, most consumers have opted not to run the risk of incurring large fees in exchange for the ability to spend more than they have.
Results of mystery shopping conducted by Woodstock Institute and allies in four cities across the country reveal that banks often provide confusing and inaccurate information to consumers about overdraft programs and fees for checking accounts. The report released today by California Reinvestment Coalition of Oakland, CA; New Economy Project of New York City, NY; Reinvestment Partners of Durham, NC; and Woodstock Institute of Chicago, IL, calls on federal banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to strengthen consumer protections for all overdraft products and improve oversight of banks who offer overdraft products.
This report investigated whether large banks provide accurate and full information on overdraft products and services (“overdraft”); whether the information varied based on a person’s race, ethnicity, or gender, or based on neighborhood; and whether the information was provided without undue pressure or steering to costly products.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is blowing out the candles on its third birthday cake today, and I hope their hard-working staff is taking a moment to celebrate a job well done. They’ve made substantial progress towards their mission of “making financial markets work for American consumers — whether they’re applying for a mortgage, borrowing for college, choosing a credit card, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”
The House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee last week called for an end to a critical Department of Justice (DOJ) anti-fraud investigation called “Operation Choke Point.” Eliminating the operation could hamper DOJ’s ability to prevent the financial abuse of some of the most financially vulnerable consumers.
You may have heard about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but what can it do for you and your constituents?
The Illinois House last week took the first step towards ensuring that workers who receive their wages on payroll cards are protected from deceptive fees that can eat away at their earnings.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is in the “late stages” of making a rule to regulate payday lenders. It is critical to let them know that the rule should not include loopholes that lenders can exploit to make expensive, unregulated loans.
U.S. Bank announced earlier this year it intended to purchase Chicago-area branches of RBS Citizens/Charter One Bank.
Regulations will promote sustainable mortgages, protect new homebuyers and struggling homeowners
CHICAGO—New rules taking effect on January 10, 2014, will create a safer mortgage market with fewer tricks and traps, says Woodstock Institute. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is implementing rules that require mortgage lenders to ensure that borrowers can reasonably repay their loans, provide protections for borrowers who fall behind on their mortgages, and help current homeowners stay abreast of the status of their mortgages.
Ten mortgages to African Americans in 2012. Zero bank branches in low-income communities or communities of color. And below-peer-level lending to low-income communities in all of its assessment areas.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week that it will begin collecting consumer complaints on payday loans.