For Immediate Release
February 22, 2010
AARP Media Relations
Americans 50+ Demand Protections From Financial Abuse
New AARP Survey Shows Strong Bipartisan Support for Increased Consumer Protections; Association Urges Inclusion in Financial Reform Bill
WASHINGTON - As the Senate continues negotiations for a comprehensive and meaningful financial reform bill, AARP today releases a survey of Americans 50 and older showing overwhelming support for financial reforms and consumer protections among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
"Older Americans, whose retirement nest eggs were decimated by the failure of an outdated and compromised financial regulatory system, overwhelmingly say they want reform," said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President at AARP.
"Americans 50+, regardless of party affiliation, want Congress to act so financial institutions are held accountable," added LeaMond. "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 protect investors."
The survey revealed broad agreement among Republicans, Democrats and Independents for a number of initiatives, including:
* Requiring banks to use plain language to explain the terms and conditions of loans, including mortgages, and credit card debt. (Republicans (98%), Democrats (95%), and Independents (96%).)
* Requiring companies that manage 401(k) retirement plans to explain the fees they charge to participants. (Republicans (93%), Democrats (94%), and Independents (92%).)
* Enabling consumers to check an investment advisor's record to see whether they have had any prior violations or been charged with professional misconduct. (Republicans (95%), Democrats (89%), and Independents (95%).)
* Requiring investment companies to disclose the costs, risks and benefits of all the financial products they market and sell using plain language. (Republicans (91%), Democrats (91%), and Independents (95%).)
* Allowing states to enact consumer protection laws that are stronger than federal laws. (Republicans (68%), Democrats (67%), and Independents (66%).)
* Holding financial salespeople who engage in deceptive marketing practices accountable. (Republicans (92%), Democrats (89%), and Independents (90%).)
AARP has called for increasing consumer protections, including an agency that will work on behalf of consumers; creating common sense regulations that arm consumers with needed information; increasing accountability in the banking and financial industry; and, streamlining and unifying consumer protection efforts currently divided among seven agencies.
This survey further shows that Americans 50+, hit hardest by the economic downturn and facing depleted retirement accounts, are looking to the Senate to pass financial reforms that will protect their retirement security.
For a full copy of the survey visit http://www.aarp.org/research/surveys/money/consumers/fraud/articles/finprotect_10.html
For more information about investor protection and financial security visit www.aarp.org/money.
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.