Better Markets regularly joins with other public interest advocates and nonprofit organizations in support of regulatory action on a broad range of issues related to the economy, financial regulation, and social justice.
Joining strong coalitions on critical issues that we support helps raise their visibility among key influencers, including regulators, legislators, interested members of the public, and others. Such joint advocacy also adds greater weight to the positions taken and increases the likelihood of positive action by policymakers.
A few of our most recent joint advocacy efforts include:
Resist Proposal That Would Allow More Overdraft Fees. The National Credit Union Administration issued a proposed rule that would allow federal credit unions to keep members’ negative account balances open for longer than the current limit of 45 days, subjecting those members to additional overdraft fees. Better Markets, along with nearly 40 consumer, civil rights, faith, and community organizations, joined a sign-on letter to the NCUA, led by the Center for Responsible Lending, the Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and the Self-Help Credit Union, that demonstrated that the proposal fails to provide any of the claimed benefits to credit union members.
Deny Rakuten’s Application for Deposit Insurance. Better Markets joined nearly 40 organizations, led by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, to urge the FDIC to deny Rakuten’s application for deposit insurance as it seeks an industrial loan charter. As explained in the comment letter, Rakuten’s application fails to address important concerns surrounding safety and soundness, privacy, and fair lending.
Restore Court Access Through FAIR Act. Better Markets has long fought against mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses to ensure that Main Street Americans always have the right to bring claims to court when they have been victimized by financial firms. That’s why we joined with nearly 85 organizations on a comment letter, led by Public Citizen and the National Association of Consumer Advocates, to urge Congress to quickly pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (“FAIR Act”).
Ensure CFPB Promotes Racial Equity in Credit Markets. Promoting racial justice in our financial system is one important goal that Better Markets shares with several other prominent public interest groups. To that end, Better Markets, along with dozens of national, state, and local public interest organizations, joined a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter was led by the National Consumer Law Center, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and it outlines numerous concrete steps that the CFPB can take to “address long-standing systemic discrimination in credit markets and the harsh economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color.”
Establish Climate Hub in Treasury. Better Markets joined a coalition led by Public Citizen to encourage Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to follow through on her commitment to create a hub at Treasury focused on the threat of climate change and to name a senior-level person to lead the department’s climate efforts. Nearly 150 environment, social justice, and consumer advocates signed the letter.
In a statement related to the letter, Dennis Kelleher noted that: “There is no dispute that the climate crisis poses a material threat to many companies and an existential threat to the financial system, our economy, and the planet. Regrettably, the U.S. has fallen behind many other countries in taking the necessary actions to address these many and increasing risks. While this inaction impacts all Americans, those hardest hit will once again be low-income, minority, and other disenfranchised communities.”
“That’s why Treasury Secretary Yellen’s commitment to create a climate ’hub’ and appoint a ’very senior-level official to lead’ it was so important. More broadly, we are gratified that the Biden administration shares our view that we must all prioritize the critical issue of climate change along with racial justice and economic inequality, especially in the financial industry and at the financial regulatory agencies.”
Read our blog post for further details on some of our most recent joint advocacy efforts.