October 9th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama pushes consumer protection agency

Palin argues against the president's health care proposals in a new Op-Ed.
Palin argues against the president's health care proposals in a new Op-Ed.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – President Obama on Friday made his strongest push yet for the creation of a new consumer protection agency, lashing out against those who have lobbied hard to stand in its way.

The Obama administration sent Congress its proposal for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency in late June. The proposal has been met with disdain from banks and big business.

"They're doing what they always do - descending on Congress and using every bit of influence they have to maintain a status quo that has maximized their profits at the expense of American consumers," Obama said in televised remarks made at the White House. "That's why we need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that will stand up not for big banks and financial firms, but for hardworking Americans."

Banks succeeded last month in stripping out of the bill a provision that would have required banks and others to offer uncomplicated financial products, like easy-to-understand applications for 30-year-fixed mortgages, as alternatives to more complex ones.


The president reserved his harshest criticism for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which he said "is spending millions on an ad campaign to kill" the proposal. The Chamber of Commerce launched an ad campaign opposing the proposal, featuring a butcher and baker concerned about its possible impact on their businesses.

"This, of course, is completely false - and we've made clear that only businesses that offer financial services would be affected by this agency," Obama argued.

The agency would set more transparent rules for financial institutions to ensure that consumers get help in understanding the terms of their loans and agreements. But banks have opposed another regulator that some believe could threaten the soundness of financial institutions.

"We disagree that a massive new federal agency with unprecedented powers over vast segments of the business community will be good for consumers," said David Hirschmann, CEO of the U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, in a statement. "The proposed CFPA will exacerbate the weaknesses of the current system that clearly failed, restrict access to credit and make it more costly for consumers and businesses."

Still, the White House and many in Congress are undeterred. The House Financial Services Committee is set to hold a hearing on Wednesday.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Shame

    You should all grow up, agree or not the hate on this web sight is a joke!

    October 9, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Larry

    President Obama has always looked out for the consumer in this country.

    He's earned his Nobel Prize, for what he's going to do. Obviously the world also sees the potential.

    October 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Laura, Boston MA

    We need a consumer protection agency to protect us from the Congress.

    Cap & Trade Bill=$$$
    Healthcare=$$$

    Credit Card Companies=$$$$$

    $$$$$=Us the taxpayer...what's wrong with this picture?

    October 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Mark in Atlanta

    Good to see that repubs are still sticking up for the little guy. Advocating for consumers and protecting them from fraudulent practices is a valid function of government.

    October 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    I'm never a fan of more government, but it's become obvious that Big Business can't be trusted any more than Big Government can. Maybe the only way to protect people from Big Business is government, but I wish I knew what's going to protect us from government.

    October 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Jane

    I rather see a tighter lease on Wall Street – fat cance of Congress to bite the hands that feed them!!!!

    October 9, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Pick your poision:

    1) Pay more taxes to the gov't to redistribute the wealth – so that everybody benefits.

    2) Pay more fees and get hit with the ripple effects of a recession when corporate America gauges the you. You get poorer ... they get richer. Nobody benefitis but the rich.

    October 9, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. bellablue

    Hard working Americans, as well as ALL Americans need to be protected from "financial predators"! The time has come for reform in this regard! It is far past time to REIGN IN THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES! THEY ARE TAKING US TO THE CLEANERS!!!

    October 9, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Proud American

    Yes... Our President have Americans best interest in heart.

    October 9, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. sheena - Canada

    Ridgeway

    You are a MORON

    October 9, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Alise

    Yeah! Our President always look out for the American people!

    October 9, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. AK

    Meidy...
    You are clueless. Did you finish high school? Have you been in this country the last several months??

    October 9, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    what took them so long. the loss of jobs, homes, and monies are all due to wall street and lack of regulations. the banking system, stock market, fuel companies, and utilities did what they wanted, the consumers had no rights. they destroyed this country. i hope it can be saved for our children and for generations to come. we are in such a terrible state of affairs.

    October 9, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. Jim in San Mateo

    Hard working Americans do need this. Have you seen what the banks are doing to credit card holders. I'm not talking about the ones who are behind on their payments or who only make minimum payments. I'm talking about the ones who have great credit who are seeing their minimum monthly payments triple and their interest rates (guaranteed to stay low) double.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is about as fascist an organization as there exists legally in this country.

    October 9, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Zap

    What is it with every commercial business? They have the only goal of raping and pillaging thier consumers for every dime they have and then some. Deregulations have given them a pass to charge anything they like. I know, we need less government and more commerce, according to the right wing. This is a failed social policy. You can not show me anywhere that A CONSUMER wins and BUSINESS profits. Commercialism is as bad as the rest of the "isms".

    October 9, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    How much is this going to cost those of us who actually work to benefit the dope smoking, non taxpaying Oprah watcher that voted for the blithering idiot.

    October 9, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. The Real Issue

    The issue is the prize that the President did not ask for. The President is cool as one disparent writer said. He's cool enough to be respected by the International Community. He's cool enough to turn our economy to the positive...more car and home sales, less unemployment, more consumer protection, more bank accountability, prospective Health Care Bill, stocks that were in the 6000s are close to 10000...In addition he has additional initiatives that will trump the last 8 years of a governance that created economic and International problems. The International community recognized his Peaceful contribution.

    October 9, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Johnathan Raleigh, NC

    I bought gas last week and was $1 short in my account and was cahrged a $35 overdraft fee. Okay...fine....BUT THEN.................I had to wait four weeks to get paid because I get paid once a month and when I checked my account four weeks later I was short $180. The bank had charged me the $1 I owed them, the $35 overdraft fee, and then charged me what they called a "SUSTAINED OVERDRAFT FEE" at $7 per day *22 days for a total of an additional $144.

    THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!
    REGULATE ALL BANKS MR. PRESIDENT!!!

    October 9, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Shannon

    Here is what I don't understand, if what the financial institutions are doing are upfront and legitimate, how can clearly disclosing the terms hurt them or their lending processes? The only reason for concern is if they are trying to pull a fast one and clearly spelling out the terms makes that impossible.

    October 9, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. al in memphis

    Based on most of these comments, I can see why we can't build a decent car to compete with Japan. There is not an ounce of ability to recognize and resolve a problem. If you think that bank practices are fair, you must be on the short end of the rushing locomotive.
    The foreclosure problem was not limited to people buying houses they could not afford (they could have not paid the first month note if that was the case). The banks were looking to profit by jacking up adjustable rates every few months or forcing people to refinance every few years so they could collect more fees.
    If they had just charged a slightly higher rate and left it fixed, most of those people would still be in those houses.

    I forgot, the banks can regulated themselves and do what best for long term viabiltiy- Crap, they do what best for short term profit.

    October 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Brian

    Just more bailouts for irresponsible people. Heres an idea... if you can't afford it... DON'T BUY IT!! Stop blaming the credit card companies for your money problems... when you used that credit card, you agreed to their terms, and made them a promise to pay them back. Now when the bill comes due you complain about it, and say "how dare they charge me so much"

    Typical liberals.... I feel bad for this country.

    October 9, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well, if the financial institutions keep raising their rates, pretty soon NO ONE will be able to even make a minimum payment. Then what will the credit card companies do since most purchases are made for intangible things. All this country is, is a paper pushing economy anyway.

    October 9, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. DJ

    It doesn't matter if we have a protection agency if the lobbyists are still dominating Congress and interferring with the rights of the people with their fat wallets, bribes, and Senators like Ensign that sleep with their wives.

    October 9, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. bout time

    about time... this country needs more regulation to help keep down the corruption and greed that has been running rampant for so long now. banking never used to be this difficult 20 years ago, then reagan deregulated the industry and then the banks started getting greedy, then the ceo's and the rest of the directors started getting greedy. no wonder the rest of the world hates the united states, its because of all the rampant capitalism greed. thats why other countries call us capitalist pigs.

    October 9, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. bout time

    get ralph nader in there, he will straighten things out.

    October 9, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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