Reining in Wall Street

STANDING UP FOR CONSUMERS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETPLACE—For more than 20 years, Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski has helped us stand up against big banks and credit card companies.

A Consumer Cop On the Financial Beat

You work hard for your money. You should be able to save, invest and generally manage your money without fear of being trapped, tricked or ripped off by the institutions you are trusting with your financial future. And from the 2008 economic collapse, we know how big of an impact those institutions can have on our economy when they play fast and loose with our money. 

Since 2009, the solution has been clear. We need to have fair, clear, transparent and enforceable rules that protect consumers in the financial marketplace. Now, we know we can get there through the work of an agency that has those principles at the core of its mission — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   

The CFPB Gets the Job Done

Despite the fact that the CFPB is not widely known, we’ve already seen their financial oversight return nearly $12 billion to consumers … in just five years. The CFPB holds big banks, debt collectors, and lenders accountable. Here are a few examples of some of the cases the CFPB has taken on:


When American Honda Finance used discriminatory pricing to rip off African-American, Hispanic, and Asia/ Pacific Island borrowers who paid too much for car loans, the CFPB returned $24 million to these consumers.


The Department of Justice and 47 states joined the CFPB in a $216 million action against JP Morgan Chase Bank for illegal debt collection practices affecting over half a million Americans.


When it was discovered that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized debit and credit accounts using their customer's information, the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for fraud.


The CFPB fined Equifax andTransUnion — two of the three largest credit reporting agencies — $5 million for selling inflated credit scores to consumers that were different from ones actually used by lenders and returned $17 million to those harmed by the deception.

But the CFPB doesn't just help consumers get their money back, it levels the financial playing field. The CFPB has several specialized departments for veterans, senior citizens, new homeowners, college students, and low-income consumers that seek to educate the public on how to stay safe and provide them with the tools they need to keep their finances secure.

Tell Your Senators: Stand Up For Consumers

Almost every day we hear about some new way of tricking, trapping and ripping off consumers. And despite the fact that tricks like these led directly to the 2008 financial collapse, some Wall Street banks are spending upwards of a million dollars every day to roll back the rules and the CFPB — the very agency that was created to keep them in check. Now, many legislators in Washington want to defund or destroy the CFPB.

Effective consumer protections aren't some sort of luxury we can't afford — they're hallmarks of a great country. As founders and leaders of the movement to create and protect the CFPB, we're working to make sure that our success not only sticks, but that we can build upon it.

Issue updates

News Release | Financial Reform

We Need a Watchog: On eve of committee vote, consumer group petitions for reform

SCRANTON, Oct. 20 – Local residents and statewide consumer group PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, called for meaningful financial reform in a petition demonstration in downtown Scranton today.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

Consumer relief

It is not getting much attention locally but the big banks, the mortgage lenders and the insurance companies are working to kill legislation in Washington that would give consumers much-needed protections in the financial marketplace.

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News Release | Financial Reform

On Anniversary of Financial Crisis, Pennsylvanians Look to Congressman Kanjorski for Leadership on Reform

Philadelphia, PA – One year ago this week Lehman Brothers collapsed in New York and the ripple effect began to spread to Pennsylvania. Today, as the President speaks in New York City on the need for strong financial regulations to protect consumers, Pennsylvanians need Congress to pass H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act.

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News Release | Financial Reform

House Passes Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2009 – Statement from PennPIRG's federal Consumer Advocate Ed Mierzwinski on the passage of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

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News Release | Financial Reform

We're Deeply Disappointed with Wall Street Bailout

U.S. PIRG is deeply disappointed that Congress punted on enacting critical protections for taxpayers and homeowners in the Wall Street bailout legislation passed today.

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