President Barack Obama went on the offense Friday to reassert the need for a new consumer watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to keep tabs on financial institutions and to keep consumers from getting caught up in more mortgage disasters and high-interest credit card schemes. –KA


“Predictably, a lot of banks and big financial firms don’t like the idea of a consumer agency very much,” Mr Obama said.

“They’re doing what they always do – using every bit of influence to maintain the status quo that has maximised their profits at the expense of American consumers.

“In fact, the US Chamber of Commerce is spending millions on an ad campaign to kill it.”

But the president said he would not back down from his plans for reform. He said the new agency was needed to protect US consumers from “ridiculously confusing contracts” used by financial institutions.

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