Opposition looms over consumer plan
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Steve Chiotakis: This week, a House committee could vote on a bill that would create a consumer financial watchdog agency for things such as mortgages and credit cards. This is part of President Obama’s agenda for financial reform, but as Tamara Keith tells us there’s also plenty of opposition.
Tamara Keith: House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank says consumers need an advocate.
BARNEY FRANK: Because the bank regulators sign with the banks more often than the consumers.
Consumer groups point to a list of recent abuses: deceptive mortgages, excessive overdraft charges, credit-card interest rates that just keep rising. Even groups that oppose Frank’s bill agree the current system has problems.
DAVID HIRSCHMANN: Of course it failed. Now how do we really fix it?
David Hirschmann is with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His idea for a fix, doesn’t involve a new public agency.
Hirschmann: What you need is more effective government, not just more government.
The banking industry isn’t a fan either. Scott Talbot is the Chief Lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable.
Scott Talbot: We need to strengthen our regulatory system to close silos and narrow gaps to prevent this type of crisis from happening again.
He’s against it, but Talbot admits there’s a lot of political will behind a new Consumer Protection Agency. Of course in Washington, a will doesn’t always equal a way.
I’m Tamara Keith for Marketplace.
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