Americans for Financial Reform

In Brief:

A coalition of more than 200 diverse organizations that aims to build a financial system that serves the real economy and the goal of a more just and equitable society. Through policy analysis, advocacy, education, and outreach, AFR builds public will for substantial reform on the full range of financial issues, from payday lending, prepaid cards, and mortgages to systemic risk. One key project is driving public engagement on the hundreds of regulations required to implement Dodd-Frank.

Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan and nonprofit coalition of more than 200 civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and civic and community groups. Formed in the wake of the 2008 crisis, it works to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system – one that serves the economy and the nation as a whole. AFR has been called “the leading voice for Wall Street accountability” in Washington (by Zach Carter of the Huffington Post).

Through policy analysis, education, and outreach to members and others, AFR builds public will for substantial reform, including:

  • Fair rules of the road for consumers and a strong, effective Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set basic safety standards and protect families—and the market as a whole—from loans designed to trick and trap
  • A banking system that helps people buy and stay in their homes and invests in communities and businesses to create good jobs and strong neighborhoods
  • An end to the casino economy that allows Wall Street to make “heads we win, tails they lose” bets with our money
  • An end to megabank bailouts and financial institutions that are “too big to fail”
  • Executive compensation that rewards long-term value creation, not excessive risk-taking, with meaningful shareholder review
  • A transparent and accountable Federal Reserve, independent of banking industry control
  • Transparency for all financial products and markets
  • Meaningful limits on the political influence of the financial sector, so that the job of rewriting the rules is not left to the inside players who caused the problems we now face

A separate project, the AFR Activism Fund, pursues these goals through a range of nonpartisan advocacy activities. AFR is a project of The Leadership Conference Education Fund (a 501C3). The AFR Activism Fund is a project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (a 501C4). Neither the Leadership Conference nor the AFR Activism Fund receives tax-deductible contributions.

The Resistance

In addition to its policy and advocacy work, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) is working to preserve the long-term integrity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), ensuring that it retains authority and independence for when progressives can once again advance a pro-consumer agenda. AFR is also working to counter anti-consumer efforts, including preventing the passage of a Congressional Review Act measure to overturn the CFPB’s 2017 rule against payday and car title lending abuses. Attacks on the rule—which would put billions of dollars a year back in low and moderate income people’s pockets—continue, but the AFR coalition has beaten them back thus far.