This week, the U.S. House passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act conference report by a vote of 237 – 192. This bill stands as the most comprehensive and consumer friendly financial reform legislation since the Great Depression.
Reforming Wall Street is an essential step in restoring America’s economic security. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I have worked urgently to help craft a bill that cracks down on the worst abuses by banks and other financial service providers. These reckless practices, including predatory lending and making high-risk investments with your hard-earned money, led to the near collapse of our economy and the severe recession that we are still striving to recover from.
This legislation creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, limits the fees banks can charge merchants to process debit-card transactions, empowers oversight bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, and helps ensure that taxpayers will never again be asked to bail out big banks and Wall Street firms who broke the rules.
Major provisions included in the Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act:
Consumer Protections with Authority and Independence: Creates a new independent watchdog, housed at the Federal Reserve, with the authority to ensure that American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products, and protect them from hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices.
Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance: Provides shareholders with a say on pay and corporate affairs with a non-binding vote on executive compensation and golden parachutes.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Independent Head: Led by an independent director appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
New Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion: At federal banking and security regulatory agencies, the bill establishes an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion that will address employment and contracting diversity matters. The offices will coordinate technical assistance to minority-owned and women-owned businesses and seek diversity in the workforce of the regulators.
Interchange Fees--Protects Small Businesses from Unreasonable Fees: Requires the Federal Reserve to issue rules to ensure that fees charged to merchants by credit card companies for credit or debit card transactions are reasonable and proportional to the cost of processing those transactions.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program: Provides $1 billion to States and localities to combat the impact on neighborhood of the foreclosure crisis.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Clay explains Wall Street Protectoin Act
In his weekly newsletter, First District Congressman Lacy Clay explains the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: