Wells Fargo, PNC Draw Protest of Arbitration Clauses

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Consumer activists are targeting the use of arbitration clauses at Wells Fargo and PNC Financial Services Group.

The activists hand-delivered protest petitions Thursday that, they said, contained 67,000 signatures. Arbitration clauses put consumers at an unfair disadvantage in disputes with their banks, the groups said. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an ongoing study into the effects of arbitration clauses on consumers and released initial data in December of last year. The study was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act; if the bureau determines that arbitration clauses harm the public, it has the authority to end them going forward.

"Forced arbitration is a secret weapon America's biggest banks are using to deny basic rights to citizens," Alexis Goldstein, communications director of Other98.com, said in a news release.

Consumer Action, Americans for Financial Reform, Public Citizen, the Other 98%, Alliance for Justice, the American Association for Justice and the National Association of Consumer Advocates helped organize the petitions.

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