CFPB Database Reveals Wolves of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort may have bestowed the title ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ on himself, but we all know that wolves travel in packs – and it looks like Wall Street is full of them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) a financial watch-dog group has recently released a database outlining complaints against several of the nation’s top banking and investment groups. The database, which focuses heavily on Wall Street stalwarts, including Citibank (part of Citigroup) and Chase (of JPMorgan Chase), is chock full of consumer complaints against these financial giants in regards to predatory banking tactics.
By navigating a simple search by name of any number of these banks, consumers can find mass-stores of complaints lodged against them, most stemming from the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
Instituted in 1933, the Glass-Steagell Act served to prevent banks holding insured deposits from affiliating with investment banks and brokerage firms on Wall Street. The Glass-Steagall Act protected consumers from falling prey to stock fraud and financial abuse from these entities. Under pressure from large Wall Street firms, such as Citigroup, the Act was repealed under the Clinton Administration, ushering in a new era of gross misconduct and financial abuse on an unwitting public and laying the groundwork for the eventual economic crash in 2008.
The newly formed “financial supermarkets” exercised their power by enforcing strict, sub-prime credit interest rates, while severely limiting the capacity of consumers to generate interest yields on investments, savings and CD’s. One complaint pulled from the CFPB database, dated Aug. 20, 2016, states that Citibank increased the annual percentage rate to 29.99% whereas a recent search of Citibank’s interest-bearing savings accounts show an interest rate accrual of only 0.01% for accounts under $10,000.
It is apparent that these mega-firms have not heeded the lessons of the 2008 crash and, if left unchecked, will continue to target the public for their own advantage. This election season, Republicans and Democrats have made it a bipartisan effort to ensure that these kinds of atrocities are stopped, with both parties pushing for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act.

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