Banking and Consumer Protection
Educating and protecting consumers and investors

"What happens on Wall Street and in financial markets around the world affects us all.  While the financial system has grown bigger and more complex, it is also increasingly accessible to Hawaii residents and ordinary Americans across the country.  It is my responsibility to advocate for the interests of individual consumers and investors, who should be able to participate in the financial system with ease and knowing that they enjoy the strongest possible safeguards and protections."

Senator Akaka is one of the leading consumer and investor advocates in the United States Senate.  As a member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Akaka has helped develop significant legislation to improve regulation and oversight within the financial system.  From sweeping reform of credit card practices to comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul, his efforts have supported and protected consumers and investors through new laws that fight against deception, fraud, and inequity. 


Senator Akaka's highest priority is to strengthen America's commitment to financial empowerment through education, access, and protection.  As a member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Akaka works to improve access to financial and economic education, enhance consumer and investor protections, and bring more individuals into the financial mainstream. 

Our country faces a long recovery from the economic crisis that began in 2007 and 2008 and spiraled into a global financial crisis that was felt by financial institutions and ordinary taxpayers alike.  Congress' response to the economic downturn led to the enactment of comprehensive reform laws that will better protect consumers and investors and preserve the stability of the financial system in the future.

Federal regulators and the business community are both adjusting to the new regulatory landscape that Senator Akaka and his colleagues on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee worked to shape.  New financial, credit card, and housing reform laws will require Senator Akaka's close oversight and guidance.

The Senator's financial services initiatives are often closely related to his work to promote economic and financial literacy.  Please visit Senator Akaka's Financial Literacy issue page for more information about his work on the issue.

Recent Accomplishments

Reforming Wall Street.  Senator Akaka developed many of the most important provisions for consumers, investors, and working-class Americans that were included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-203).  The comprehensive financial reform law is intended to bring stability and better regulation to the financial system and protect taxpayers from future crises.

Broadening Financial Access.  Consumer and investor advocates have called Title XII of the Wall Street reform law the most important economic empowerment provision in the Act.  This section of the law was included by Senator Akaka and based on his Improving Access to Mainstream Financial Institutions proposal.  Now, new programs will be established to provide greater access to banks, credit unions, and financial products for unbanked and underbanked Americans.  People outside of the financial mainstream are the least protected consumers.  These efforts will help improve their financial security.

Helping Ordinary Consumers and Investors.  Senator Akaka also crafted provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create two new government offices focused on investor advocacy and financial education.  The Office of the Investor Advocate within the Securities and Exchange Commission is tasked with assisting retail investors to resolve significant problems with the SEC or the self-regulatory organizations (SROs). The Investor Advocate's mission includes identifying areas where investors would benefit from changes in SEC or SRO policies, and problems that investors have with financial service providers and investment products.  Meanwhile, the Office of Financial Education within the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is tasked with developing and implementing initiatives to educate and teach individual financial empowerment.  These two offices will help ensure greater focus on these crucial, but less emphasized aspects of financial regulation.

Senator Akaka also developed provisions that will provide greater disclosures, safeguards, and protections for many types of investors and consumers, including those who send remittances or seek out investment advice to aid in their financial decision-making processes.  You can learn more about Senator Akaka's work on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by visiting his website's Statements and Speeches page and reading his full remarks about the landmark law. 

Protecting Credit Card Users.  Recognizing that credit card debt is one of the greatest threats to personal financial security, Senator Akaka helped to develop and enact sweeping reform of credit card practices.  The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-24) restricts many abusive credit card practices and incorporates provisions from Senator Akaka's Credit Card Minimum Payment Warning Act (LINK) that promote greater understanding of credit card practices and responsible usage of credit.  Credit card billing statements now include more information about outstanding balances and repayment schedules, including the number of years it will take to payoff credit card debt using the minimum payment option and how to access free certified credit counseling services. 

Additional Information

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created in 2008 to provide temporary emergency assistance to financial institutions and other large, important financial entities.  The Department of the Treasury's Financial Stability website can provide you with additional information about the various aspects of TARP.  (LINK

If you are interested in tracking the distribution and repayment of federal TARP resources, TARP Transactions Reports are available through the Briefing Room section of the Treasury Financial Stability website. (LINK)

You can visit the Federal Reserve's Consumer Guide on Credit Cards for information on credit protection laws and changes to credit card rules and regulations.  (LINK)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to regulate consumer financial products and enforce consumer protection laws.  More information about the Bureau is available through its official website.  (LINK

Constituent Services

  • Washington D.C. Office
  • Honolulu Office
  • Hilo Office

United States Senate

141 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-6361

Fax: (202) 224-2126


Honolulu Office

300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 3-106

Box 50144

Honolulu, HI 96850

Telephone: (808) 522-8970

Fax: (808) 545-4683


Hilo Office

101 Aupuni Street, Suite 213

Hilo, HI 96720

Telephone: (808) 935-1114

Fax: (808) 935-9064