June 09, 2021

Brown On Digital Currency: Our Banking System Should Work For Everyone

Brown Highlights Opportunity for Digital Currency and His No-Fee Accounts Proposal to Help Economy Work Better for Families

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, delivered the following remarks during a Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing entitled, “Building A Stronger Financial System: Opportunities of a Central Bank Digital Currency.”

Video of the remarks can be found here.

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery: 

Thank you to Chair Warren and Ranking Member Kennedy for holding this important hearing, and thank you to our witnesses. 

I’m glad that our Subcommittee on Economic Policy convened this hearing to explore how a central bank digital currency can be designed to maintain our country’s leadership in the global economy, and to make our economy work better for workers and their families.

Other countries around the world are already taking steps toward establishing central bank digital currencies. I think we can all agree that the United States must not be left behind – we need to lead the way. 

As millions of working families in this country know, it’s expensive to be poor – check cashing fees, transfer fees, late fees, overdraft fees.

We hear all kinds of promises about how crypto and digital currencies would be more inclusive alternatives to the current banking system.

But the approaches offered by crypto companies aren’t solutions. They are just another volatile, risky asset for Wall Street speculation that puts people’s hard-earned money and our entire financial system risk.

One way we can give Americans more control over their own money is through my plan for No-Fee Accounts, available to every American at a post office or a small bank or credit union, backed by the Federal Reserve. 

Americans should not have to pay exorbitant fees just to use the money they already earned. People could receive money, take out cash, and pay their bills online – all without any fees. 

And a Central Bank Digital Currency can work with these no-fee accounts to make sure working families have access to the payment system and full participation in our economy.

It’s time for our banking system to work as well for everyone as it does for Wall Street.