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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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Recalled auto parts can be replaced, our lives cannot

FTC considering settlement allowing car dealers to sell unsafe cars. 

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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 | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Record $100 Million CFPB Penalty Order Against Wells Fargo Bank For Illegal Sales Practices

On September 8 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (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. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Higher Ed

ITT TECH CAN NO LONGER DECEIVE STUDENT BORROWERS

College’s harmful student practices cause it to shut down.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

In Wake of OPM’s Poor Response to Data Breach, MASSPIRG Launches Public Education Campaign for the more than 45,000 Federal Employees in Massachusetts

In light of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) poor handling of data breaches reported earlier this year, MASSPIRG staff and volunteers did a lunch hour “literature drop” today, handing out identity theft tips to federal employees at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

In Wake of OPM’s Poor Response to Data Breach, MASSPIRG Launches Public Education Campaign for the more than 45,000 Federal Employees in Massachusetts

In light of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) poor handling of data breaches reported earlier this year, MASSPIRG staff and volunteers did a lunch hour “literature drop” today, handing out identity theft tips to federal employees at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Election Modernization Coalition Lauds Implementation of Online Voter Registration

Today, Secretary of State William Galvin announced the official launch of online voter registration, implementing a long-awaited reform that will allow Massachusetts citizens with signatures on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to fill out paperless voter registration applications over the Internet. 

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Media Hit | Tax

Your View: Time to end the corporate tax dodge

As summer arrives and hard-working Bay Staters stretch back on sandy shores, many of the corporations that do business here are also taking advantage of places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands — to dodge their share of taxes. But last week a public hearing at the Statehouse discussed closing a key loophole that currently allows multinational companies to use offshore tax havens to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Broad Array of Public Interest Groups Call on Subway, the World’s Largest Fast-Food Chain: Help Save Antibiotics!

 

A letter signed by nearly 60 public interest, medical, public health, environmental and animal welfare organizations was delivered to Subway Founder and CEO Fred DeLuca and Senior VP Suzanne Greco today, asking the restaurant giant to phase out meats produced with routine use of antibiotics (i.e. for growth promotion and disease prevention). As the largest fast-food chains in the world, Subway’s action on this issue would help tackle the growing health crisis of antibiotic resistance.

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Blog Post | Budget, Health Care

Testimony in Opposition to an Act Relative to Restaurant Rejuvenation | Deirdre Cummings

The Prescription Drug and Medical Device Ban is an important consumer protection law aimed at driving down our highest-in-the-nation, spiraling health care costs by reining in the drug and medical device industries’ aggressive marketing tactics. Among other things, the law bans gifts and/or payments of more than $50, including restaurant meals and entertainment, to physicians and other prescribers, from drug and medical device companies.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Opposition to bills which would weaken or repeal the Food Store Item Pricing Law | Deirdre Cummings

The food store item pricing law requires supermarkets to put price stickers on most items in supermarkets.  It is a long-standing, efficacious, and overwhelmingly popular consumer protection.  While MASSPIRG does not categorically oppose the adoption of new pricing technology, we do oppose legislation that would allow stores to substitute a pricing mechanism that offers less consumer benefit than what we have today. In considering any change to our current retail pricing system, it must first provide equal or better benefits to the consumer to be considered as a substitute. The eight proposals before you today do not provide equal or improved consumer benefits.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Favor of Cell Phone Users’ Bill of Rights (SB 1692) | Deirdre Cummings

For too long, consumers have been getting blindsided by surprise charges on their cellphone bills. Wireless companies are not providing adequate, uniform tools for people to keep up with their accounts. Notifying customers before they exceed their limits is a simple, effective way to prevent ‘bill shock.’”

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Blog Post

Testimony in Support of An Act to Promote Efficiency and Transparency in Economic Development | Deirdre Cummings

State and municipal investments of public dollars in private enterprises must be held to highest level of transparency and accountability in order to ensure the most efficient use of our limited and valuable tax dollars. Currently, transparency and accountability of the economic development tax subsidies are poor and/or non-existent in some cases. As a result, while many of the subsidies may be worthwhile investments, others are not. And worse, there is not enough publicly accessible information to identify if or which subsidies are in fact benefiting the state, and if so, to what extent and at what cost.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Comments in support of Proposed Regulations, 940 CMR 28.00: Testimony on the Regulation of the Sale of Private Passenger Automobile Insurance | Deirdre Cummings

We are here today in full support of the Attorney General’s proposed regulations, 940 CMR 28.00, which provide long overdue and much needed consumer protections to Massachusetts drivers in the new deregulated auto insurance system. In short, the proposed regulations require the insurers to focus more on how we drive – instead of on who we are – in determining our premiums.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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