On Monday the US Senate Banking Committee approved a landmark financial regulatory reform legislation. The 1336-page bill also encompasses measures to improve consumer protection in financial services. However, it is unclear how many of these measures will survive in the negotiations in the full Senate.
The negotiations in the Senate will be controversial. The banking committee voted 13-10 along party lines. While Democrats jointly voted for the bill, the Republican members voted against the proposal. In the full Senate Democrats will need to muster 60 votes. - They control only 59.
While US consumer organisations welcome the swift movement of the legislation through committee to the floor, they are concerned that major aspects of the bill remain unfixed. The coalitions of consumer organisations, Americans for Financial Reforms, criticizes that the independence of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency is not secured and that there are severe holes in its enforcement authority.
For further information, see:
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2219053520100322, http://ourfinancialsecurity.org/2010/03/afr-statement-on-committee-passage-of-financial-reform-bill/ and http://www.consumerfed.org/elements/www.consumerfed.org/File/Press_Release_Senate_Banking_Markup_Users_Guide.pdf
Sources: Reuters, Americans for Financial Reforms and Consumer Federation of America