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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Consumers Should Demand Security Freezes After Massive Yahoo Breach

In the wake of the recently-announced Yahoo data breach -- apparently the largest security breach ever, exposing the personal information of 500 million consumers -- PIRG offers consumer tips, demands that Yahoo provide free security freezes to affected consumers who could be at risk of "phishing" schemes to commit fraud on existing accounts or open new fraudulent accounts.  We also ask: Why did it take Yahoo two years to notify the public?

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Will Wells Fargo CEO Tell Senate "No Clawbacks" of Exec's Golden Parachute? | Ed Mierzwinski

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf goes before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday (9/20) to explain the recent $185 million in combined civil penalties by the CFPB and other regulators over a sales goals incentive scandal that led to employees opening some 2 million fake, secret accounts without the knowledge of customers. How will he respond to the growing public clamor for a clawback of bonuses paid his top retail executive Carrie Tolstedt, whose retirement with a $125 million golden parachute package had been announced earlier this summer? 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Wall Street Ramps Up Attacks on Wall Street Reform | Ed Mierzwinski

On Friday, the House overwhelmingly approved a Wall Street-driven proposal to weaken oversight of private equity firms, taking a chunk out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But wait, there's so much more: On Tuesday the House Financial Services Committee takes up the so-called "Financial Choice Act," which eviscerates most of Dodd-Frank's key reforms, from stripping powers of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to repealing the Volcker Rule, which reins in risky betting practices that use depositors' money. As for the CFPB (which just this week issued its biggest fine to date, $100 million against Wells Fargo Bank for opening hundreds of thousands of fake and secret consumer accounts to meet sales goals), the proposal would defund and defang it and delay or stop its efforts to rein in unfair practices of payday lenders, debt collectors and banks. Many of the Financial Choice Act's provisions also pose threats as budget bill "riders."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

CFPB Issues Record $100 Million Fine on Wells Fargo For "Beyond Outrageous" Sales Practices

On September 8 the CFPB announced a record $100 million civil penalty plus consumer restitution against Wells Fargo, among the  nation’s largest banks, for a series of unfair and abusive sales practices by “thousands” of employees that included opening “secret” accounts for “hundreds of thousands” of existing customers, solely to meet sales goals to receive financial incentives. The CFPB action was joined by simultaneous orders announced by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ($35 million civil penalty) and the City of Los Angeles ($50 million civil penalty). Our statement follows.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Report: Analysis of Payday Complaints Reveals Need for Stronger Federal Protections

Consumer complaints about payday loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) show a critical need for strengthening the agency’s proposed rule to rein in payday loans and other high-cost lending, according to a report released today by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

Washington Post: Senate panel passes sweeping financial-regulation bill

The Senate banking committee voted along party lines Monday to transform the regulation of financial markets, sending another piece of far-reaching legislation to the full Senate a day after Congress approved an overhaul of the nation's health system.

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News Release | PIRGIM | Health Care

Health Care Bill to Create Over 8,300 Michigan Jobs

As Congress and the White House are locked in the final negotiations over the health care reform bill, a new analysis from the consumer group Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) finds that the legislation will mean between 8,300 and 13,300 more jobs in Michigan.

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News Release | PIRGIM | Health Care

Consumer Group Gives Senate Health Reform Bill a B+

ith the addition of the managers' amendment, the Senate health reform bill earned a B+ from the consumer group Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) for its cost-containment provisions on Saturday.

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News Release | PIRGIM Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Alerts Shoppers to Hidden Toy Hazards

The latest Trouble in Toyland report, along with a new interactive tool, will help parents and other toy-buyers avoid some common hazards.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

House Homeland Security Committee Passes Chemical Security Legislation

We applaud Chairman Thompson and the Committee for taking action to protect our communities from dangerous chemical plants. As the Congressional Research Service report released today shows, one hundred facilities endanger more than a million people in the event of an accident or attack; more than 7000 facilities endanger thousands.

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