Assemblywoman Jenne: Senate vote will help big banks, hurt North Country consumers
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 9:01 am

North Country Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says a bill passed by the U.S. Senate this week that rolls back a rule that would have protected consumers from big banks and credit card companies is bad news for the North Country.

The resolution passed by the House and Senate blocks rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that allowed consumers to sue banks when they were taken advantage of by improper actions of banks and credit card companies.

The rule was aimed at blocking mandatory arbitration clauses that have been included in documents many consumers sign when they apply for credit cards or set up new bank accounts.

Those agreements generally require consumers to settle any disputes they have with their credit card companies or banks through arbitration rather than taking the companies to court or joining class action lawsuits. Experts say that system leaves consumers at a large disadvantage, Jenne said.

"The resolution that passed the U.S. Senate smells rotten. This is a big win for Wall Street at the expense of residents on Main Streets in communities all over the North Country, state and nation," enne said.

"A huge blow was dealt to consumers by government officials looking out for the best interest of large banks and credit card companies - who flood politician's campaigns with large donations - instead of hard-working men and women. These companies will be free to take advantage of consumers and prevent class-action lawsuits even after the incidents at Wells Fargo and the data breach at Equifax," she said.

"With the House voting this past July and now the Senate approving the repeal of this rule, it opens the door to allow these institutions to continue the ways that almost destroyed our economy and put consumers at a huge disadvantage," she said.

"Many North Country residents are struggling, living paycheck to paycheck, and they don't need to be taken advantage of by the big banks and credit card companies by language hidden in the fine print," Jenne said.