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27/07/15 Bank disclosure and the Euro Crisis - a message from John Taylor, NCRC Washington D.C.

The European Crisis on Greek government bonds has puzzled the big audiences especially in Northern Europe. Many citizens bombarded by irresponsible tabloids assumed that their governments have lent enormous amount of money to Greece which these people are not willing to repay because they are either too lazy or too corrupt or just showing a mentality of irresponsible... [more...]

17/07/15 UN conference on Trade and Development Drafts new Principles on Consumer Protection especially in Financial Services

The UNCTAD has revised its consumer protection guidelines especially with regard to financial services that until now had been omitted. The USA has called this premature since OECD and G20 are working on the same issues. The Draft is based on a survey in 2014 of UNCTAD with member countries in which only a few have participated.   The new draft of the principles is in... [more...]

08/07/15 Recent research for Asian Development Bank shows gaps in financial inclusion, regulation, and education in Germany

iff Director of economics, Prof Doris Neuberger, has published a paper on financial inclusion in Germany. It should serve to give other countries examples of better practice, alternative policies and lessons for regulation of financial services. Below are the findings and reccomendations from the paper: Germany’s bank-based financial system provides a high level of... [more...]

02/02/15 Why the election of Syriza offers hope for Europe’s indebted households

The election of Syriza in Greece has sent shock waves through the international establishment as a consequence of the new Government’s determined position to write off a significant proportion of the country’s debts and reschedule the remainder for payment according to the rate at which the economy grows. It is understandable that this challenge to the troika of the... [more...]

13/10/14 Bank supervisors get interested in responsible credit – FinCoNet publishes its report on responsible lending

A worldwide association of bank supervisors have published a report on responsible lending. The report covers European countries like Germany and France but not the UK and most of the other EU states. But it also covers also China, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and Uganda. The USA and South America do not show up. Although this is a quite arbitrary selection... [more...]

23/05/14 BRAZIL - Brazilian consumers win claim against banks - iff support on interest rate claims successful.

Brazilian consumer organisations have filed a multitude of claims against banks who withheld the contractually convened interest payments with the primary argument that that keeping to their contractual obligations towards Brazilian small savers would have caused them to have to file for bankruptcy. At the eights financial services conference in Hamburg the participants... [more...]

21/01/13 The European Commission's Financial Service User Group, largely made up of consumer advocates has published a report on avenues for regulation to consider.

In September last year the FSUG produced an interesting report with suggestions on how the interests of users of financial servcies can best be protected through new regulation. This collective report from the group adds to the work done by ECRC coalition partners to provide ideas and new ways of thinking to better regulation and outcomes for consumers (e.g. see the work... [more...]

24/10/11 Sustainable finance: ECRC supporter Bank Track publishes a report warning of the shortcomings of the existing revisions being made to the new version of the Equator Principles.

BankTrack to Equator Principles banks; ‘get the Outside Job done’ Equator Principles update must lead to new Principles focused on people and planet Washington, October 23rd 2011 , for immediate release BankTrack, the global NGO network monitoring private sector bank operations, calls upon the Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) to ensure that the next... [more...]

21/07/11 Insufficient and biased Data on Consumer Debt in Europe - the Example of Germany.

A cross national comparision of data on consumer indebtedness is less easy than one can assume. The European Consumer Credit Research Institute (ECRI) a research institution between lobbying and research financed by major banks provides the only annual statistics on houshehold borrowing and consumer credit (see Since its basis are... [more...]

11/05/11 US Mortgage Market Myth - Short analysis explains why state influence on Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac (the GSEs) is the wrong culprit in explaining the subprime disaster.

The financial crisis which now cost us billions of Euros to support States like Ireland, Portugal and Greece is also triggering rightist parties like the "True Finnish" Party to block the further development of Europe. What they ignore is that this help for such States is in fact help for the big bank monopolies in Europe who provided insane credit to such states because... [more...]

11/05/11 US Mortgage Market Myth - Short analysis explains why state influence on Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac (the GSEs) is the wrong culprit in explaining the subprime disaster.

The financial crisis which now cost us billions of Euros to support States like Ireland, Portugal and Greece is also triggering rightist parties like the "True Finnish" Party to block the further development of Europe. What they ignore is that this help for such States is in fact help for the big bank monopolies in Europe who provided insane credit to such states because... [more...]

05/05/11 Payment Protection Insurance - the late fruits of Bank Lobbying: 100.000 Complaints in the UK and mass lawsuits elsewhere

Why too much Lobbying in Brussels may have hurt the Banking Industry In 1998 the EU mandated a study from iff on Payment Protection Insurance with regard to consumer credit. The findings were alarming: up to 50% of credit cost were hidden in such factually linked contracts. Most of this money consisted out of hidden interest since it flew back to the banks in the form of... [more...]

03/05/11 Divide et Impera: Is the new European Banking Authority and its Stakeholder Group another Bank Lobbying institution in Brussels?

New Approach to Bank Lobbyism in Brussels? The European Union has generated billions from Member States for the rescue of banks. The European Union is also largely responsible for the deregulation of bank supervision and capital markets in the last 15 years. An important group of deputies from all parties in the European Parliament find that bank lobby is far too strong in... [more...]

17/03/11 World Consumer Rights Day - Consumers International calls for stronger consumer financial protection and the ECRC will support its efforts within the G20.

The international association of consumer organisations from both advanced and emerging economies calls for: A new permanent international organisation to support work on financial consumer protection; Mandatory financial consumer protection bodies; Clearer contracts, charges and practices; Effective redress and dispute resolution; Measures to promote stability and safety... [more...]

17/03/11 US CFPB - Update on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the work organised by Prof. Warren so far

While Prof Warren has been subject to Congressional Republicans attempting to portray her as the "unaccountable" head of a bureaucracy immune from oversight from Congress or federal agencies (with aims to cut CFPB funding and weigh down its rulemaking procedures by replacing its single director with a five-member board of directors), she has presented lawmakers with 34... [more...]

06/12/10 Brazil - Handbook on over-indebtedness launched and draft bill for revision of the Brazilian Consumer Protection Code planned, focusing on the consumer credit markets and over-indebtedness.

Below is a translation of Brasilcon’s news update, our Brazilian partner of the Global Coalition for Responsible Credit. Dear friend and associate of Brasilcon, We inform you with satisfaction on the launch of the Handbook about overindebtedness, the result of a partnership between the Department of Consumer Protection and Defense (DPDC) and experts: Claudia Lima Marques,... [more...]

08/11/10 Banker remuneration – When will bonuses become more reasonable? In a context of belt tightening, will Europe’s financial centre lead the way to moderation?

UK: Cable announces review of bankers' pay Vince Cable announced that the Coalition government is planning an investigation into the way the City operates, including executive pay and bankers’ bonuses. The review is set to be conducted against the news that FTSE 100 boardroom pay has increased by 55% and banks have begun buying out the bonuses of rivals’ staff to lure them... [more...]

29/10/10 Redesigning Consumer Financial Protection –Details of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are provided by UK Coalition Partner CfRC alongside details of the Dodd-Frank Act

The UK CfRC looks at the details of the US reform and compares it to the promises made so far in the UK in the Issue of its Responsible Credit Journal (Vol1 No2 - Oct 2010) Redesigning Consumer Financial Protection: how will the UK compare with the US? The US is establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with explicit duties to both improve consumer protection... [more...]

29/10/10 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Prof. Warren gives an update on her blog.

While lawyers are still working on the scope of its authority, the new agency is already hiring and initiating research and is already causing providers to change their behaviour. Focussed on clarity, it will be deeply reliant on outreach and collecting data about how consumer markets are working. Can Europeans learn from the US direction and ensure that funds are also... [more...]

08/10/10 Consumers International launches G20 financial services campaign

CI launches G20 financial services campaign 08 Oct 2010 Demanding more from our leaders on financial consumer protection. Consumers everywhere need access to stable, fair and competitive financial services. They have had to put up with abusive practices for too long and... [more...]

18/08/10 UK national stakeholder Responsible credit conference – 19/20 October 2010 in London. Speakers are key policy decision makers and stakeholders including a guest appearance from Reverend...

Responsible Credit UK Convention, London, 19th & 20th October 2010 The regulation of the UK’s credit markets is being radically redesigned. Government is currently consulting on its plans to create a new Consumer Protection and Markets Agency and the Financial Services Authority has set out its proposals to create a more responsible lending mortgage market. A longer term... [more...]

26/07/10 BRAZIL – Promoting Responsible Credit - Lançamento da cartilha eletrônica "Crédito responsável"

Prezado associado e amigo do Brasilcon, Tenho a satisfação de informar o lançamento da cartilha eletrônica "Crédito Responsável", que procura explicar, de modo claro e objetivo, sobre os riscos do superendividamento. O documento, que será encaminhado para todos os PROCONS e entidades civis de defesa do consumidor, pode ser incluído em páginas da internet pelos... [more...]

09/07/10 Centre for Responsible Credit, London: UK help of Interest Subsidies for Mortgage Borrowers against Foreclosure is threatened

Both Shelter and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are calling for the Government not to reduce the rate at which Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments are made. SMI is currently paid to people in receipt of Income Support or Income based Jobseekers Allowance at a rate of 6.08%, but the Budget announced that Government plans to reduce this to a market average... [more...]

09/07/10 Centre for Responsible Credit London: IMF publishes final proposals for bank taxes

The International Monetary Fund has set out further details of its preferred mechanisms to ensure the financial sector makes a ‘fair and substantial contribution’ to cover the likely costs of any future crises and to general tax revenues. In its final report on the issue, which will now go forward for decision by the G-20, the IMF highlights that the as yet unrecovered... [more...]

28/06/10 USA - The new financial reform bill has been passed and made public (all 2,000 plus pages)

ECRC global partner NCRC has released its comments on the new Financial Regulatory Reform Bill which the Conference Committee has passed today. Below are the press releases. Financial Regulatory Reform Bill Passed by the Conference Committee Washington, DC- Early this morning, 28th June 2010, the Conference Committee passed the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill. John... [more...]

28/06/10 AUSTRALIA - New law aims to put clamp on mortgage exit fees and new guides on the new National Consumer Credit regime published by the regulator.

New law aims to put clamp on mortgage exit fees The Age The new consumer credit law in place from Thursday will give the Securities Commission will be given teeth to declare void so-called "unfair" or "unconscionable" exit fees that do not relate to the costs banks actually incur in closing accounts. ---- ASIC updates credit licence guidance International Business Times... [more...]

24/06/10 Deputies in the European Parliament from all Parties form an Alliance on tougher Bank Regulation and Supervision

The Declaration We, as European elected officials in charge of regulating financial markets and banks, can see every day the pressure exerted by the financial and banking industry to influence the laws governing it. There is nothing extraordinary if these companies make their point of view known and have discussions on a regular basis with legislators. But it seems to us... [more...]

09/04/10 Banks favour new EU-Regulation in Consumer Credit - to stop Natinoal consumer protection efforts? ECRI Initiatives in Brussels.

Have Banks gone too far with their 2008 Directive? ECRC has accompanied the battle around the new Consumer Credit Directive 2008/48/EC. There is no question that consumer protection in general lost this battle when the 2002 draft was totally withdrawn and replaced by the neo-liberal information Directive which instead of bread and butter for debtors in consumer credit... [more...]

31/03/10 International conference - ECRC partner ZPS is organising a stakeholder conference on financial services in Slovenia on 20 May 2010. Sign up.

Finforum 2010 ZPS Financial Forum: "Consumers in the Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward" Thursday, 20th of May 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia Draft Programme Wednesday, 19 May 18.30 Welcome drinks reception Thursday, 20 May 08.00 Registration opens. Tea and coffee 09.00 to 10.00 Welcome and introductory session 10.00 to 11.10 Plenary I: Financial Crisis... [more...]

31/03/10 Australia: Credit providers face a new licencing regime Article from the Sydney Morning Herald on regulatory changes in Australia Lenders given reform choices March 30, 2010 AAP The federal government has flagged measures to weed out dodgy lenders before new consumer credit laws come into force. Credit providers will have to be licensed if... [more...]

23/03/10 From Welfare State to Welfare Society - The Greek answer to the financial crisis should be copied elsewhere.

Greece has introduced a new consumer bankruptcy code modelled after the German insolvency procedure but with a significant shorter good will period of 4 years (6 in Germany). Its outstanding innovation lies in the development of a network of debt advice offices in Greece. In its inauguration conference the Greek socialist ministry of economics had invited a representative... [more...]

08/12/09 "Emerging Evidence" - UK Office of Fair Trading publishes new Findings on Usurious Credit in the World

Another „Research“ from the UK to defend its usurious Credit Practices – Stop it. Since a couple of years we observe so-called research in the UK, the EU Member State with the highest usurious credit rates in Europe, the most problematic banking community. The studies are designed to show that UK usury serves the poor. While the simple ideology that less regulation lets... [more...]

08/12/09 A Report on Poverty, Debt and Legal Aid in Japan by ECRC partner Saya Oyama (Associate Professor, Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan)

2009 International Forum on Legal Aid Taipei Taiwan Panel Discussion III Day 2 [14:00-15:10, 1/11/09] Poverty, Debt and Legal Aid in Japan Saya Oyama (Associate Professor, Kinjo Gakuin University Japan) ________________________________________________________________________________ Preface As an introduction to the issues of “Poverty, Debt, and Legal Aid in Japan”, I... [more...]

23/11/09 Microfinance in China: Real opportunities still do not exist for those largely forgotten by the country's economic development?

As the Grameen Trust enters China, this article tries to explain why microloans are still relatively underdeveloped – the reasons include: inadequate or overly restrictive government regulations (e.g. requirement that a formal bank must be the controlling shareholder in any village bank and that fact neither organization can operate outside its registered county), complex... [more...]

11/11/09 The Stiglitz/Sen/Fitoussi Report on Sustainable Development 2009: Consumer Perspective and vital needs

The two Nobel Prize winners Stiglitz and Sen together with Fitoussi have delivered their "Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress" to the French President Sarkozy, 2009 ( Professor Joseph E. STIGLITZ, Chair, Columbia University; Professor Amartya SEN, Chair Adviser, Harvard University; Professor... [more...]

09/11/09 Australia is moving in Consumer Credit

From the latest newsletter of the International Association of Consumer Law  November 2009, Vol. 2, issue 2 ( edited by Christine Riefa, Brunel Law School, UK we learn about the efforts made in Australia to harmonise consumer credit law and introduce more effective elements, amove which follows the centralisation of consumer credit law in the US through the... [more...]

28/09/09 G20 - Welcome step taken to stop banks fuelling corruption

The Global Witness sees some good news in what the G20 have agreed do. Concerned with corruption, banks have a role to play in combating this, especially in developing countries. The previous report, Undue Diligence: How banks do business with corrupt regimes, detailed how major banks including Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citibank were facilitating corruption through... [more...]

28/09/09 INTEREST RATE CAPS – The ECRC partners will need to discuss the arguments of this subject at their next international conference in July 2010. Differences between partners still exist.

"Capping interest rates is not the way to stop irresponsible lending to people who can't afford the loan" microcredit activist Faisal Rahman tells the Guardian. In an Interview to the Guardian Faisal Rahman argues that continental anti-usury legislation is no way to cope with predatory lending. Instead he favours penal sanctions. This kind of interview is in line with... [more...]

24/09/09 G20 - Global Coalition renews its call for banks ‘worth saving’ / Rappel vers les leaders du G20 à créer un système financier qui mérite d’être sauvé

At the occasion of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, the ECRC renews its call for banks ‘worth saving’ (which it issued at the previous London G20 Summit in April 2009) and reminds coalition partners of its critique of the more recent G20 Declaration “12 measures for a socially useful financial system” led by alternative banks. ----- [en français, voir ci-dessous] Global... [more...]

18/09/09 A new Pittsburgh G20 Declaration in the Making by some coalition partners - ECRC prefers to concentrate on its Principles of responsible credit and will reissue its previous April...

G20 Summit on Incentives, Investments and Institutions There has been an extensive discussion among members of the Coalition for Responsible Credit and Community Reinvestment concerning a paper promoted especially by INAISE, the organisation of alternative and ethical banks in Europe for the upcoming G20 summit. A number of Coalition members have already signed this... [more...]

04/09/09 A Swedish Seminar "Towards a more effective control of financial crimes and the financial interests of the EU" will be held in Stockholm, 13-14 October 2009

Strengthening cooperation between judicial and police authorities in the EU The seminar is free of charge (no registration fee). Financial crimes are serious and growing threats in all EU Member States. For the past decades the European Union has given high priority to detecting, investigating and tackling this problem and to bringing offenders to justice. The... [more...]

28/08/09 Responsible Lending or Responsible Borrowing - Who is to blame for the financial crisis? In their response to the hearing ECRC censures the idea of solving the crisis at the expense of...

Public Consultation on Responsible Lending and Borrowing in the EU August 10, 2009 1. Question 3 In your view, are there certain (categories of) credit products that are inherently unsuitable for sale to retail borrowers? In our Subprime Declaration from 30 June 2008 ECRC supported by many signatures from its coalition partners had already pointed to a number of... [more...]

13/08/09 GlobalCRC. Since Our last conferences our partner in Japan is the National Coalition for Fair Consumer Credit (CREST) which together with NCRC and ECRC form the Global Coaltion for...

CREDIT & SALAKIN TAIKYO, JAPAN National Coalition for Fair Consumer Credit Fighting for ending undue and unjust sufferings of debtors in Japan since 1978 6th fl. Nihon Bunka Kaikan, 2-chome 1-23 Kitahama, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0041 JAPAN WELCOME to CREST JAPAN CREDIT & SALAKIN TAIKYO JAPAN (CREST JAPAN) is a national coalition for fair consumer... [more...]

04/08/09 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY – New report on regimes in the US and Europe and link to new book “Consumer Credit, Debt and Bankruptcy".

Consumer Bankruptcy Regimes in the US and Europe - Further effects and implications of the crisis (CEPS Working Document No. 318/July 2009 by Maria Gerhardt) ABSTRACT Consumer insolvency is a topic that has gained much prominence in the context of the financial crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. In countries such as the US and the UK, the number of bankruptcy filings... [more...]

03/08/09 UK lending 'extortionate' - Barnardo's 'Breadline Britain' report is further evidence that some providers continue preying on some of Britain's poorest families with +500% APR loans.

Press release from DOOD blog website BARNARDO'S SLAMS PROVIDENT RATES OF 545% Wednesday, 29 July 2009 at 14:04 Barnardo's 'Breadline Britain' report, published yesterday, rightly slams Provident's 545% APR loans to some of Britain's poorest families as 'extortionate'. The report comes on the same day that Provident announced a rise in pre-tax profits in the first six... [more...]

28/07/09 PAYDAY LOANS – Why do borrowers pay over 400% APRs?

A recent study by economists at the University of Chicago examined the effects of payday lenders being required to better explain the long-term financial cost of their loans. However, although providing a clear and tangible description of a loan's cost reduced the number of applicants choosing to take payday loans, this only applied to 10 percent of borrowers. This means... [more...]

25/07/09 NEW BOOK – A new publication entitled “Consumer Credit, Debt and Bankruptcy” provides details on comparative and international perspectives

The discount order form for this book is on the second page of the flyer attached below. CONSUMER CREDIT, DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY - COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Edited by Johanna Niemi, Iain Ramsay and William C Whitford After a long period of prosperity and steady economic growth, the world's leading economies are now in crisis, and although there will be... [more...]

20/07/09 US Partner NCRC shares details of recent dialogue with the Obama Administration and a forthcoming paper explaining what happened and the response the US is taking.

NEWS FROM THE STATES: The current global financial meltdown began with the collapse of the U.S. Subprime Mortgage Market, which continues to wreak havoc throughout that nation and the world. What really happened, and what is being done in response – by lawmakers and the Obama Administration, by bank regulators, and by civic leaders and hard-hit communities? More... [more...]

16/07/09 Imprisonment for debt, Insolvency procedure without participation of the debtor - Irish ECRC partner reports on the latest move to reform the Irish credit system after the credit crisis

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN IRELAND Introduction Despite sustained economic growth and a consumer credit boom over fifteen odd years, successive Irish governments have failed to update and modernise the debt enforcement infrastructure in line with the more progressive systems in operation across most of the European Union. The focus instead has been to gradually increase the... [more...]

11/06/09 European Elections and the Financial Crisis: Will the Power of the "Financial" Commission be tamed? Who are the new Candidates - Fox and Merz the Business Candidates or are there others?

Less than half of the European Citizens have felt it necessary to vote. The new Parliament will if Eurosceptics from the UK, Bavaria, Austria and other states within the conservative parites are also counted, have an enormous amount of members which do not want a better Europe but no Europe at all.  To those who want a socially responsible Europe where different cultures... [more...]


Created: 21/06/06. Last changed: 24/09/07.
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