Financial Reform

Report | Ohio PIRG | Financial Reform

Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

Report | Ohio PIRG | Financial Reform

Tax Shell Game

Many corporations operating in the United States funnel money through offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. In fact, an independent study found that nearly two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes at all. Goldman Sachs, which received a $10 billion taxpayer bailout, managed to get their effective tax rate down to one percent by utilizing maneuvers they describe as “changes in geographic earnings mix.”

Foreclosures, Failed Banks and Fees

While the financial crisis is global in scope, Ohio is one of its flashpoints. Ohio lives and families have been shattered and homes and neighborhoods shuttered due to unfair and predatory lending practices. The solution is to enact a strong federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency that reinstates federal law as a floor not a ceiling of protection and has as its primary responsibility the enforcement of consumer protection laws. A new Consumer Financial Protection Agency would regulate financial products like mortgages, car loans, payday loans and credit cards – wherever purchased -- in much the same way the Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety of our medicines or the Consumer Product Safety Commission oversees toys, electronics and other household goods. 

News Release | Ohio PIRG | Financial Reform

Ohio PIRG Explains “Game-Changer” Proposal To Reinstate Federal Financial Laws As Pro-Consumer Floor

At the epicenter of the worldwide financial collapse was a lack of consumer protection that can best be remedied by establishing a “game-changer agency with only one job, protecting consumers” while simultaneously reinstating federal law as a floor not a ceiling of protection, according to Ohio PIRG Associate Manfred Mecoy. 

News Release | Ohio PIRG | Financial Reform

Ohio PIRG Consumer Program Director's Statement on Wall Street Bailout

Statement of Ohio PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski on Final Passage of Wall Street Bailout Legislation Today

News Release | Ohio PIRG | Financial Reform

Statement: Defeat of Wall Street Bailout

Today the House of Representatives listened to concerned Main Street voters and taxpayers and defeated a defective Wall Street bailout.

Beat High Bank Fees

Banks rely on consumer indifference when they raise fees. They count on consumers not shopping around. PIRG’s Big Banks, Bigger Fees reports routinely find that small banks and credit unions are not following the big banks’ lead; they still offer many free or low cost accounts.

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