Today more than 67,000 petition signers tell PNC Bank and Wells Fargo Bank to stop using forced arbitration in their customer accounts. The petition was delivered today at both banks’ headquarters – Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The petition is a campaign against the five largest banks – also including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and US Bancorp – that use forced arbitration clauses in the fine print, restricting their customers’ right to access the courts. Read more about the petition delivery and read the letters to PNC and Wells Fargo from the organizations behind the campaign. There’s still time to sign the petition: http://other98.com/revoke-wall-streets-license-steal/.
“The broad response that the petition has received around the country shows a strong consumer demand for an end to this rigged game designed by Wall Street,” said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.
“Many consumers don’t even know that buried in their contracts is a forced arbitration clause that preemptively blocks their right to a day in court,” said Alexis Goldstein, communications director at Other98.com. “Forced arbitration is a secret weapon America’s biggest banks are using to deny basic rights to citizens.”
“Forced arbitration is a ‘get out of jail free’ card for the banks. Getting rid of it is about holding them accountable if they break the law, and making sure they too have to play by the rules,” added Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.
“It’s not acceptable for banks to force consumers to give up legal rights in order to open an account or get a credit card,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action. “Along with our allies, we call on these powerful large institutions to do the right thing and eliminate forced arbitration in their contracts.”
“With forced arbitration, Wall Street has granted itself a license to steal from Americans and evade the law,” said American Association for Justice President Lisa Blue Baron. “The tremendous response to this petition sends a clear message that Americans are outraged by this despicable practice. It is time for financial institutions, as well as all corporations, to honor the rights of customers and stop using forced arbitration.”
“These five Wall Street banks are stripping away a constitutional right to a trial by jury from their customers if they have been cheated or harmed. It’s time for JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp and PNC Financial to respect their customers and stop using forced arbitration,” said Ellen Taverna, legislative director of National Association of Consumer Advocates.
“Facing off against a big bank in arbitration is like playing a baseball game in which the other team hires and fires the umpires,” said Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice. “Today customers are demanding that banks restore the rights that have been lost in the fine print.”