Listen To The Story
Marketplace

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Another battle banks have been fighting hits the Supreme Court today. The court will hear arguments over who has the right to enforce state anti-discrimination laws against national banks. Is it federal regulators, or is it the states? John Dimsdale tells us what's at stake.


John Dimsdale: When New York's Attorney General asked several national banks to explain why they were charging blacks and Hispanics higher interest rates, the Feds told him to back off. They said those banks shouldn't have to worry about 50 different regulators.

Gregory Taylor is associate general counsel with the American Bankers Association:

Gregory Taylor: A patchwork of state laws could limit things as product offerings, increase operating expense, you know, reduce efficiency in which banks do their business.

But states say federal regulators are not enforcing state laws against banks that sell fraudulent products or discriminate.

Eric Halperin with the Center for Responsible Lending filed a brief supporting the states' right to police their own laws. He believes the current bank crisis gives his argument teeth.

Eric Halperin: There's no better example of what happens when we have a lack of law enforcement than what we've experienced over the last couple years.

No matter how the court rules, congressional reformers want states to have more authority to enforce state consumer protection laws.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, Marketplace is on a mission that drives what we do every day: to increase economic intelligence across the country. But we can’t do it alone. Become a Marketplace Investor today, in whatever amount you choose, and your donation will go twice as far, thanks to a dollar-for-dollar match from The Kendeda Fund.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.