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.

May 21, 2010
May 21, 2010 With the help of four Republicans, the U.S. Senate passed its version of financial reform legislation by a 59 to 39 margin late last night. Illinois' own Sens. Dick Durbin and Roland Burris both voted in favor. The bill will now move to a House-Senate conference committee, where the...
May 20, 2010

Now that the U.S. Senate has voted to limit further debate on the financial reform bill (S. 3217), there are less than 30 hours left to debate and vote on remaining amendments. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition has summarized the some of the critical areas that still need to be addressed.

May 12, 2010

Woodstock Institute and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) reached out to key Senators on Tuesday to express their support for interstate lending reform, which would ensure that out-of-state lenders could no longer supersede state interest rate limits that apply to local banks, credit unions, and other lenders.

May 6, 2010

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) released an amendment proposing an “alternative” to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217). This alternative is toothless by design and fails to meet basic standards for an effective consumer financial protection regulator. Fortunately, the amendment was voted down by a 61-38 vote.

May 5, 2010

As debate begins on the Senate financial reform bill, the strong consumer protections contained in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) will surely come under assault from special interests and their armies of lobbyists—and not all of them are from big banks.

April 23, 2010

In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, safe and sustainable credit will be necessary to revitalize neighborhoods, especially in those communities that have been hardest hit. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has driven trillions of dollars of safe and sound credit into low-wealth communities since its enactment in 1977. Experts from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the National Urban League, National People’s Action, and more made the case at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the CRA that expanding and modernizing this critical tool would help get America back on the path to recovery. Currently, the CRA Modernization Act of 2009 contains the important provisions critical to updating and expanding the CRA, although we expect a revised bill to be released this year.

April 16, 2010

Woodstock Institute and over 300 local and national consumer and community organizations called for immediate Congressional action on a proposal to put Americans back to work and prevent more layoffs and cuts in crucial frontline services.  The proposal, the Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812), would provide $100 billion over two years, creating or saving 750,000 jobs providing local services and 250,000 education jobs.

April 6, 2010

Woodstock Institute staff and members of the Illinois Community Investment Coalition (ICIC) left a big impression at last month’s National Community Reinvestment Coalition Annual Conference. Woodstock President Dory Rand, Senior Vice President Geoff Smith, and Vice President Tom Feltner shared Woodstock’s expertise with community investment advocates from across the country as presenters on panels with topics inlcuding strategies to influence elected officials, foreclosure prevention, and promoting sustainable lending.

March 16, 2010
By Richard EskowMarch 16, 2010 Eighteen former members of the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) strongly endorsed the idea of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency in a letter released last week . Draft legislation released yesterday by Sen. Chris Dodd would instead...
March 15, 2010

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) released the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009 today. Woodstock Institute believes the bill contains important provisions that will protect consumers and prevent the risky lending and abusive practices that led to the financial crisis. Sen. Dodd’s proposal will create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to crack down on the most egregious abuses from big banks and allow states to act as first responders to stop problems before they escalate.

March 12, 2010
By Sewell ChanMarch 12, 2010 As the Senate contemplates creation of a consumer financial protection agency within the Federal Reserve, opposition to the idea has emerged from an unexpected quarter: the Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council. On Friday, 18 former or current members of the council, which...
March 10, 2010

Financial reform is at a critical juncture in Washington. The House has already passed a bill to create a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to put consumers’ interests over those of Wall Street and crack down on the risky lending that spurred the financial crisis. However, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) continues to compromise the agency’s independence in the interest of bipartisan support.

March 3, 2010

So many of us—families and businesses—are struggling to pay our bills during these difficult times.

March 2, 2010

While talks over financial reform legislation continue in the Senate, the financial industry is stepping up their attacks against attempts to create a more just financial system that would encourage investment in communities, allow small businesses to grow and flourish, and put consumers' interests as a top priority.

February 12, 2010

Momentum continues to build in Washington around expanding small business access to sustainable credit, despite the postponement of the hearing to consider the state of small business lending in local markets in the House Small Business and Financial Services Committees. Keeping credit flowing to small businesses is critical, especially in times of recession and high unemployment. Small businesses are engines for job creation, creating roughly 80 percent of new jobs and employing over half of private sector employees. Ensuring that small businesses are equipped to grow through productive, sustainable credit and create new jobs will be a vital component of economic recovery.

January 14, 2010

With Senator Dodd’s announcement on January 6 that he will retire after this year and the likelihood that his successor as Senate Banking Committee chair will be less pro-consumer, there is an even greater urgency to complete work on financial reform proposals pending in Congress.  We cannot afford to lose momentum towards creating a more just financial system that protects consumers, communities, and the financial system from another near collapse, bailout, and recession.

January 8, 2010

As the fight for financial reform heats up, a diverse coalition of organizations are raising their voices in support of a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). It’s a reminder that predatory lending and abusive financial practices hurt Americans from all walks of life—and that the stakes are too high to let industry lobbyists convince our lawmakers otherwise.

January 7, 2010

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke started the new year with a reflective address to the American Economic Association on the causes of the financial crisis and steps to prevent a future crisis. Chairman Bernanke strongly stressed the need for “better, smarter” regulation and concedes that the Fed’s attempts at regulating the mortgage lending market were too little, too late. “Stronger regulation and supervision aimed at problems with underwriting practices and lenders' risk management would have been a more effective and surgical approach to constraining the housing bubble than a general increase in interest rates,” Bernanke said.

December 18, 2009

The Federal Reserve Board has named Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute, to its Consumer Advisory Council for  a three-year term starting in December 2010.  The Council advises the Board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters in the area of consumer financial services.  The Council meets three times a year in Washington, D.C.

December 16, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives made a historic vote in favor of consumers by passing H.R. 4173, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,” on December 11. This bill would create an agency with authority to set strong protections for financial products, such as mortgages, payday loans, and credit cards.

December 7, 2009

Crucial financial reform legislation is hitting the floor of the House of Representatives this week, including a bill to enact the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).

November 10, 2009

The regulatory reform proposal released today by Chairman Dodd (D-CT) goes a long way to ensuring that consumers and communities across the country have access to safe, affordable, and sustainable financial products.   We believe that the proposal brings us closer to ending the assumption that some financial institutions are too big to fail, protecting the financial system against systemic risk, creating a single federal banking regulator, and enforcing the consumer protections that have gone unenforced for far too long.  

October 22, 2009

Over major opposition from the financial industry and nearly all Republican committee members, the House Financial Services Committee today passed HR 3126, which would create the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive financial products and practices.  Advocates are hopeful that the bill will be strengthened in the Senate where Woodstock and others are pushing for agency oversight of the Community Reinvestment Act, which has been severely weakened under the current regulatory structure.

October 22, 2009

Over major opposition from the financial industry and nearly all Republican committee members, the House Financial Services Committee today passed HR 3126, which would create the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive financial products and practices.  Advocates are hopeful that the bill will be strengthened in the Senate where Woodstock and others are pushing for agency oversight of the Community Reinvestment Act, which has been severely weakened under the current regulatory structure.

October 21, 2009

Woodstock Institute applauds Rep. Melissa Bean’s (D-IL) decision to withdraw her amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) Act that would allow large national banks to override state consumer protection laws.

October 20, 2009

As early as today the U.S. House Financial Services will vote on a bill aimed at reforming our nation’s troubled financial system by creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This agency would do the same thing for financial products that the Food and Drug Administration does for medical safety and the Consumer Products Safety Commission does for products like toys and electronics: set common sense rules to keep institutions from peddling bad mortgages and loans that destroy families’ financial futures. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency could have headed this financial crisis off at the pass by preventing millions of mortgages with wildly adjustable rates and exploding payments from ever entering the market.

October 15, 2009

Today, the House Financial Services Committee deliberates over crucial provisions in the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) Act. One of these is an amendment, proposed by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL), that would stop states from enforcing their own consumer protection laws if they’re stronger than federal laws, turning the CFPA into a ceiling, not a floor.

October 13, 2009

As the debate on financial services reform continues in Washington, a new report finds that key decision makers in Congress have received sizable donations from the very industry they are seeking to reform.

October 13, 2009

As the debate on financial services reform continues in Washington, a new report finds that key decision makers in Congress have received sizable donations from the very industry they are seeking to reform.

October 8, 2009

If we hadn’t been waiting for a decade to see regulators and banks take consumer protection seriously, then their recent moves might be welcomed more enthusiastically. Instead, we view the recent efforts by regulators and banks to embrace consumer protection as cynical attempts to undercut the growing movement for consumer protection and financial reform.

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