In a major setback for banks, credit unions, credit card companies and many other financial firms, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday issued a proposal that would ban the use of arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from bringing class-action lawsuits.

The 377-page proposal, released to the media a day early, would still allow companies to offer arbitration as a way to resolve disputes, but it could no longer make it mandatory. Clauses would have to explicitly state that consumers cannot be stopped from taking part in a class-action lawsuit.

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