| WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Oct 3 U.S. presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday will unveil a plan to make
it easier for consumers to take legal action against "bad
corporate actors," citing Wells Fargo & Co and Mylan
Pharmaceuticals, according to a campaign official.
While campaigning in Ohio, the Democratic nominee will
explain how she would, if elected on Nov. 8, curb the prevalence
of contractual clauses that require consumers, employees and
other individuals to resolve legal disputes in private
arbitration proceedings instead of in courts, her campaign said.
Mandatory arbitration clauses sometimes require that claims
be pursued on an individual basis instead of on behalf of a
class of similarly situated individuals. Consumer advocates say
this makes it prohibitively expensive to take legal action.
Clinton will call on the U.S. Congress to give agencies such
as the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications
Commission and the Department of Labor the authority to restrict
the use of arbitration clauses in consumer, employment and
antitrust agreements, according to a preliminary plan reviewed
Clinton will also discuss how she believes that the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies already have the
authority to curb the use of such clauses under the 2010
Dodd-Frank Act. The planning document said she would urge the
Securities and Exchange Commission to exercise its authority to
make related rules authorized by the financial reform law.
Wells Fargo is expected to be in the crosshairs when
Clinton discusses how she would curb mandatory arbitration
For years, the bank's employees opened as many as 2 million
checking, savings and credit card accounts without the
customers' permission in order to meet sales quotas. Wells Fargo
reached a $190 million settlement with federal regulators
earlier this month.
When Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf testified before Congress
recently about the unauthorized accounts, he said he did not
expect the bank to waive a clause signed by its customers in
order to open their authorized accounts. The clause said they
would arbitrate disputes instead of suing Wells Fargo in court.
Democratic lawmakers in Congress, including Senator
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have called on Wells Fargo to
toss out the mandatory arbitration clause and allow customers to
Clinton is also expected to criticize Mylan for
sharply raising without justification the price of EpiPens,
which deliver life-saving drugs to those with allergies. The
criticism will be part of a larger push to curb excessive market
concentration and encourage competition that benefits consumers,
her campaign said.
(Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)