New Economy Project joined hundreds of groups from across the country to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on mandatory arbitration clauses. The rule will restore people’s ability to band together in court to pursue claims, is a significant step forward in the ongoing fight to curb predatory practices in consumer financial products and services.

For years, car insurance companies have systematically discriminated against New Yorkers of color, lower-income New Yorkers, immigrants, and women, overcharging them for car insurance on the basis of non-driving-related factors, including their occupations and education levels. New Economy Project urges the NYS Department of Financial Services to issue a strong final rule that bans this unfair and discriminatory practice.

New Economy Project opposes the proposed bill, which fails to adequately protect workers from unfair fees and other abusive payroll card practices. Indeed, the bill would directly undercut NYS Department of Labor’s (DOL) strong payroll card regulations, adopted last year, which community, labor, consumer, and civil rights groups across the state have enthusiastically supported.

The undersigned elected officials and organizations call on you as members of the New York City Banking Commission to remove Wells Fargo Bank from the City’s list of designated banks. As you may know, Wells Fargo’s federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), recently downgraded the bank’s CRA rating to “Needs to Improve,” citing “an extensive and pervasive pattern” of discriminatory and illegal lending practices.

We are extremely concerned about new attempts to undermine our state’s strong consumer protection laws – this time by online lenders that seek to circumvent or diminish our state’s usury laws, firmly on New York’s books since colonial days. We see a clear need for increased consumer protections in the online lending space, and to counter misrepresentations made by industry members as they press legislators for less regulatory oversight and enforcement. We approach the hearing topic today, in terms of the implications of online lending for economic and racial justice, and for equitable community development.