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U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Congress to approve his plan to
create a new government agency to protect Americans against financial
president wants to establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
President Obama says Americans need a single consumer agency to protect them against irresponsible lenders.
president says many consumers took on too much debt and took out loans
they could not afford, but blames some financial companies for taking
advantage of their customers.
"My concern are the millions of
Americans who behaved responsibly and yet still found themselves in
jeopardy because of the predatory practices of some in the financial
industry," he said. "These are folks who signed contracts they did not
always understand, offered by lenders who did not always tell the
At the White House Friday, Mr. Obama said seven federal
agencies each have a part in regulating the financial industry, which
means lenders often escape accountability. He says that puts the
entire U.S. economy at risk.
"As we have seen over the last
year, abuses like these do not just jeopardize the financial well-being
of individual Americans-they can threaten the stability of the entire
economy. And yet, the patchwork system of regulations we have now has
failed to prevent these abuses," said Mr. Obama.
The president says his proposed federal agency will make financial regulation simpler and more effective.
new Consumer Financial Protection Agency that I have asked Congress to
create will have just one mission: to look out for the financial
interests of ordinary Americans," he said. "It will be charged with
setting clear rules of the road for consumers and banks, and it will be
able to enforce these rules across the board."
Mr. Obama first
asked Congress to create such an agency in June. The banking industry
and some lawmakers have fought the proposal.
The president says
banks and big financial firms are spending millions of dollars to make
false claims about how a financial protection agency would work.