Tag Archives: News Coverage

Consumers Assert Ameren Profitted Millions More Than It Should Have

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 25, 2014 Ameren Missouri’s largest customer says the utility earned $44.6 million more than legally allowed from October 2012 through September 2013, according to documents unsealed Tuesday. Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp., which operates a smelter in New Madrid, last month filed a complaint against Ameren with the Missouri Public Service Commission, saying the utility made more money than it was allowed. The amount, though, was unknown until ...

Editorial: PSC Needs to Put Gluttonous Giants on a Diet

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 8, 2014 To understand the latest dispute between Ameren Missouri and its biggest electricity customer, Noranda Aluminum, think about pie. Ameren, the investor-owned monopoly utility company, is always hungry. It likes pie. When Ameren wants to charge more for the electricity you use, it asks the Public Service Commission for more pie. Over the past six years, Ameren has been gluttonously successful in grabbing a 43 percent bigger pie. When ...

10 Things Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Agency Has Done for You

Mother Jones, March 17, 2014 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the watchdog agency conceived of and established by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in the wake of the financial crisis, had a hard time getting on its feet. The GOP tried everything it could to hobble the bureau, but to no avail. Over the past couple of years, the CFPB has issued dozens of protections shielding consumers from shady practices by mortgage lenders, student loan servicers and credit card com ...

Columnist: 401(k) Fees Still Hard to Spot

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 17, 2014 In theory, disclosing more information about fees was supposed to make 401(k) plans better. Two years after it imposed sweeping new disclosure rules, though, the Labor Department isn’t sure whether they’re working. Disclosure is helpful only if it is read and understood, and 401(k) documents can be extremely dense. “Some employers, particularly small businesses, may be having a hard time locating the required fee disclosures when the ...

People of Faith Unite Against Usury

Senate Bill 694 is Backdoor Boost to Payday Lenders As people of faith representing hundreds of thousand of signers of the initiative petition to cap interest rates on predatory payday loans In Missouri, a coalition of faith organizations* stands opposed to Senate Bill 694.  From the Torah to the Christian Gospel to Catholic Social Teaching, the teachings of religious traditions are clear: It is immoral to charge triple digit interest on consumer loans. Click here to see the ...

BANK-On SAVE-Up St. Louis 2014 Anniversary Report

Families Move Up the Economic Ladder This report outlines our first year collaborations, successes and positive community impact of approximately $1.9 million dollars annually, based on average of $1,200 savings for each family who could otherwise spend on fringe financial services. BANK-On SAVE-Up St. Louis is the first initiative led by the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force. It is modeled after the successful “Bank On” San Francisco program, which began in 2006 and in ...

Editorial: Statistics Demonstrate Urgent Need for Financial Education

St. Louis American, March 6, 2014 “St. Louis tops the nation in the number of minority households that are either unbanked or under-banked,” St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones said Friday morning at an event her office hosted for the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force. “We are also at twice the national average in overall unbanked households. These statistics are alarming, and they demonstrate an urgent need for financial education for our citizens.” We agree, and we c ...

Editorials Denounce Payday Loan Bill

A Phony Payday Loan Reform Bill. Because 1,950 Percent Is Not Enough St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 5, 2014 When a payday lending “reform” bill sails through the Missouri Senate and the payday lending industry doesn’t scream bloody murder, you can be sure of two things: One, it’s not really a reform. And two, the working poor are going to take it in the shorts. Again. Seriously, how much more do these guys want? Already the average payday loan in Missouri is for $306 and ...

Financial Literacy Coalition Reports Initial Success, Announces New Plans

St. Louis American, February 28, 2014 “When we educate and empower people to make better financial choices, we also strengthen our community,” St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones said Friday morning at an event her office hosted for the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force at the William J. Harrison Education Center, 3140 Cass Ave. The task force reported initial progress forged by its coalition of 20 banks with the treasurer’s office and a host of community-based institu ...

Missouri Gas Energy Seeks Rate Increase of $23 Million in Kansas City Monthly Fee

Fox 4 News WDAF-TV Kansas City, February 24, 2014 Missouri Gas Energy wants a $23 million rate hike. It says the increase is needed to help with pipeline and service line costs, lines that bring warmth to homes and business.  The energy company says if the Missouri Public Service Commission grants its request, residential customers will pay an extra $2.33 a month.  That's money some customers believe is not just to build pipelines but to line the pockets of company executives. ...

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