Financial Reform

News Release | NCPIRG | Financial Reform

Thirty Fortune 500 Companies Paid More to Lobby Congress than they Did in Federal Income Taxes

With the second anniversary approaching of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case – which opened the floodgates to corporate spending on elections – North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) and Citizens for Tax Justice reveal 30 corporations that spent more to lobby Congress than they did in taxes.

News Release | NCPIRG | Financial Reform

NCPIRG Applauds President For “Bold and Important” Recess Appointment of Richard Cordray To Head New CFPB

President Obama is taking a bold and important step to protect consumers from financial tricks and traps by announcing a recess appointment of his well-qualified nominee, Richard Cordray, to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Report | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

Over the last six months, PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 392 bank branches in 21 states and reviewed bank fees online in 12 others. This report, “Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Bank Fees and Fee Disclosure Policies,” examines the following questions: 

- How easy is it for consumers to shop around? 

- Can consumers still find free or low-cost checking accounts or has free checking ended? 

- What can the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) do to help improve transparency in the financial marketplace, an important goal as consumers seek to make ends meet in response to the lingering recession?

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

House Stands With Consumers Against Big Banks

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 4173, approved by a vote of 223-202, establishes a new independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), reins in the ability for banks and investment firms to get “too-big-to-fail” and then needing massive taxpayer bailouts, opens, for the first time, the Federal Reserve to public oversight, and creates accountability for hedge funds and other previously unregulated players that were central causes of the economic meltdown one year ago.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

U.S. PIRG's Wall Street Bailout Briefing #7

When an institution can dish out trillions of dollars without so much as a whisper to Congress, let alone the American taxpayers, it has no incentive to be accountable – to act in our best interest. In fact, the Federal Reserve is, economist Dean Baker recently observed, “by design, more answerable to the banking industry than democratically elected officials,” and by proxy, to the American taxpayers.  

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Bailout Briefing #1: Comparing Executive Compensation Caps

 The aim of this bailout briefing is to provide our perspective on recent developments and resources for the media, staff and other interested parties.

Beat High Bank Fees

Banks rely on consumer indifference when they raise fees. They count on consumers not shopping around. PIRG’s Big Banks, Bigger Fees reports routinely find that small banks and credit unions are not following the big banks’ lead; they still offer many free or low cost accounts.

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DEFEND THE CFPB

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