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AARP to Senate: Americans Deserve an Independent Consumer Protection Agency with Full Authority to Protect Consumers

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2010

Contact:
AARP Media Relations
202-434-2560

AARP to Senate: Americans Deserve an Independent Consumer Protection Agency with Full Authority to Protect Consumers

New Financial Reform Package Makes Important Strides to Protect Individuals and Their Retirement Savings

WASHINGTON – In response to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd’s unveiling of the anticipated financial regulatory reform bill, Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President, released the following statement.

“AARP appreciates the hard work that Chairman Dodd and senators from both sides of the aisle have put into creating a framework for financial reform that will help prevent future economic crises and protect consumers from financial predatory practices. The commitment to establishing an independent agency that has as its sole purpose protecting consumers is an important step forward, and allowing states to continue to address particular financial abuses that their residents face is a victory for all consumers.

“However, we remain deeply concerned that a new agency charged with protecting consumers is already being watered down to satisfy the financial industry. Creating a new layer of bureaucracy with veto power over any strong rules and protections offered for investors and consumers will undermine the financial security of all Americans. We believe that to be most effective, the new agency should have full authority for rulemaking and enforcement.

“Older Americans lost billions of hard earned dollars due to the failure of an outdated and compromised financial regulatory system. AARP pledges to work with Chairman Dodd to strengthen the fiduciary duty provisions in the bill, as millions of Americans need to know where to go for sound investment advice and who is qualified to give such advice. Knowing whether the product being recommended will meet their needs or what Americans can do if something goes wrong is of critical importance.

“A recently released AARP study shows Americans 50+, regardless of party affiliation, want Congress to act so financial institutions are held accountable. They want clear information so they can make better, more informed decisions and greater transparency about the financial products available to them. The Senate must act now to establish clear rules of the road that focus on the needs of investors first, not the big banks and credit card companies that caused the financial crisis.

“As the Senate Banking Committee moves forward and debates the financial reform legislation, AARP urges members to put their constituents first, not the financial institutions that caused millions of Americans to lose their retirement dreams. We look forward to working with Chairman Dodd and senators on both sides of the aisle to pass the strongest financial reforms possible to protect the financial security of all Americans.”

For a full copy of the survey visit http://www.aarp.org/research/surveys/money/consumers/fraud/articles/finprotect_10.html

For more information, contact AARP Media Relations at 202-434-2560.

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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