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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During Hearing on Bank Mergers: “As Bank Mergers Continue to be Rubber Stamped by Regulators, People Across America Pay the Price through Higher Junk Fees and Predatory Actions.”

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement during a Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Merger Policies of the Federal Banking Agencies.”

Thank you so much, I appreciate that Mr. Chairman. As bank mergers continue to be rubber-stamped by regulators, people across America pay the price through higher junk fees and predatory actions. For example, after Wells Fargo’s mergers, it became “too big to manage” and repeatedly broke the law, harming millions of consumers. If mergers like these continue, we will be left with only a handful of megabanks that will be empowered to fleece everyone.

Following the news of Capital One’s proposed merger with Discover, I urged the government to block it, and led a letter with 15 Committee Democrats to the bank regulators to immediately strengthen their merger reviews. I am pleased the OCC and FDIC issued proposals to do that, although the Fed has not. And so, I just have to mention two things quickly. One is that there is a lawsuit against Wells Fargo because African Americans were denied refinance loans of 50% of what they tried to get. And then there’s another one where Wells Fargo used Latino employees to literally fleece Latinos in the way that a product was being produced. I yield back.


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