For Immediate Release


David Butler or Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Michael McCauley, 415-431-6747, ext 126.

Consumers Union

Consumers Union Applauds White House Proposal for New Limits on Big Banks

WASHINGTON - Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, today praised the White House proposal to limit the size and risk-taking abilities of large financial institutions.

The proposal aims to prevent banks from becoming so big that they
put the economy at serious risk, citing the reckless practices that
helped ignite the financial crisis. The changes would prohibit bank
holding companies from owning, investing, or sponsoring hedge fund or
private equity funds and from engaging in proprietary trading. The
proposal would also put limits on the growth of the market share of
liabilities at the biggest financial firms in an attempt to protect
taxpayers for the future.

Gail Hillebrand, the financial services campaign manager for
Consumers Union, said, "This proposal would help to protect taxpayers
by ending unrestrained bank growth and risky trading. Banks should only
be as big as the private capital markets can support."

Pamela Banks, senior counsel for Consumers Union, said, "Big banks
will put the heat on Congress to try to kill these proposals, but it's
the right thing to do for consumers, for taxpayers, and for the

In addition to supporting these new proposals, Consumers Union
reiterated its strong support for the President's full package of
financial reforms, including systemic risk oversight and creating a
strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect
consumers from abusive, unsafe, and deceptive credit and payment
products and services.


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