Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that it was more important than ever for people to become financially knowledgeable so they can make sound decisions after the losses of recent years.
Many American families are struggling in the aftermath of the financial crisis, which reinforces the need for reliable and useful information to facilitate good financial choices, he said in remarks prepared for delivery to the National Bankers Association Foundation.
Bernanke did not comment on current economic conditions or on the Fed's interest-rate policy in his brief remarks.
He said the Fed was increasingly using consumer testing to determine how best to improve financial disclosures that companies need to make and to highlight practices that simply cannot be understood by average consumers.
We've also stepped up our consumer protection supervision and enforcement, including at the nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies and foreign banking organizations, Bernanke noted.
The Fed faced criticism in the wake of the financial crisis for not having done more to ensure that the financial industry clearly spelled out terms of mortgages and credit that they were extending under easy terms when the housing sector was still booming.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Leslie Adler)