Durbin Statement on the Passage of Sweeping Wall Street Reform Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:


“In opposing reform, Wall Street ‘lays an egg.’


This landmark, bipartisan reform package will end taxpayer bailouts for Wall Street and the high-flying bank schemes that can kill our economy.


It contains the strongest financial consumer protections in our nation’s history and empowers consumers to make the right choices on mortgages, student loans, and credit cards.”


The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will bring basic accountability and fairness to consumers and small businesses across America:


  • A new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will protect consumers of financial products from the worst forms of abusive lending. The Bureau will finally put a cop on the beat to ensure that mortgage brokers, private student lenders, payday lenders, banks, and credit unions provide consumers with complete information so that families can make good financial choices. Senator Durbin introduced a bill to create such a watchdog agency in the last two Congresses and those bills helped shape this new Bureau.


  • Small businesses and merchants will receive relief from one of their largest expenses over which they currently have no control: debit card interchange fees. For years, Visa, MasterCard, and their big bank backers have unilaterally fixed prices on the fees that small businesses must pay every time they accept a debit card from a consumer. Senator Durbin successfully passed a bipartisan amendment that requires the Federal Reserve to ensure that Visa, MasterCard, and their big bank allies can only charge debit interchange fees that are reasonable and proportional to the cost of processing each transaction.


The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will reduce the risk of another financial crisis by strengthening three traditional layers of oversight over financial institutions:


  • The bill improves basic bank governance so that institutions are run more prudently.


  • It helps creditors and investors spot problems more easily at banks that continue to be run poorly, providing an extra layer of discipline when bank boards are asleep at the wheel.


  • And it strengthens the regulatory structure that oversees the financial industry to help identify and address failures at financial institutions that are not properly managed either by bank leadership or by pressure from the debt and equity markets.


The bill also includes Durbin authored language which requires US-registered firms using conflict minerals from the Congo region to disclose those activities in their SEC filings.