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Obama's landmark finance reform bill becomes law

Biggest economic reform in decades is opposed by Republicans and the finance industry.

US president Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law a sweeping finance reform bill, thought to be the biggest economic reform in the country in decades.

The law has been passed with little support from Republican lawmakers, who say they want it repealed.

The finance industry has also opposed the law, which includes provisions to tighten mortgage and consumer lending rules, and improve disclosure for student borrowers and average investors.

It also establishes a new consumer protection agency, which could take up to a year to come in force.

The law will ensure "that firms compete on price and quality, not tricks and traps", said President Obama, for whom this is a second major victory, after the passing of his healthcare reform bill earlier this year.

Republicans criticised the reform saying it would restrict the business community with "unintended consequences" and limit economic growth at a time of recovery from crisis.

However, the president reasoned the crisis was a result of a failure of responsibility, "from certain corners of Wall Street to the halls of power in Washington".