As Congress debates a new regulatory structure for the financial industry, AARP has weighed in on the side of consumers.
Congress has responded slowly to the financial crisis that began in 2008. In the face of conflicting proposals from the Federal Reserve, the Obama administration and the influential banking and special financial interests, AARP’s primary focus is a new, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The office would consolidate regulatory and enforcement functions currently performed by seven different agencies.
“It is clear that the retirement security of Americans may be one of the greatest casualties of the financial crisis,” AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen and CEO A. Barry Rand wrote in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee’s top legislators, Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). They praised the lawmakers’ “very positive steps toward restoring accountability, responsibility and transparency in the financial markets” and urged them to work together.
The House has already passed its overhaul package, including the new consumer protection agency. While the Senate prepares its legislation, AARP’s call for activists to write or call their lawmakers generated 100,000 letters in January alone.