U.S. Chamber Releases Survey Showing Public’s Skepticism of New Consumer Agency

November 21, 2011


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a national survey that found the majority of Americans were more likely to oppose the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) after they were given information about what the Bureau looks like and how it operates. The telephone survey of 1,005 Americans was conducted November 9-13 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.



“This poll shows that when the American people learn about the CFPB, they are wary of its broad powers, unaccountability to Congress, and direct funding outside the budget process,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. “While the ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’ may sound good in name, a deeper look into the details shows the agency has a host of skeptics.”



Key findings from the survey include:

•  Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) said they were less likely to support the Bureau when told the CFPB “is run by a single director confirmed by the Senate for a 5-year term who can only be removed from power by the President in extreme circumstances.”

•  Nearly seven in ten Americans (68%) said they were less likely to support the Bureau when told the CFPB “has access to more than half a billion dollars in government funding each year, and does not need congressional approval to spend this money.”

• At the conclusion of the survey, half of Americans (50%) opposed the CFPB, while only 40% supported it. Those strongly opposed outweighed those strongly in support nearly three to one (36% to 13%).

The full U.S. Chamber survey is available here: http://www.centerforcapitalmarkets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/US-CHamber-CFPB-FINAL.pdf



“It is telling that after getting a full description of the Bureau, opposition for it nearly doubled,” said Hirschmann. “The CFPB can play an important role for consumers, but consumers are right to seek reasonable checks and balances on a new $500 million federal agency lead by a single director. For this agency to succeed, it must provide accountability to the American people at a time when jobs and our economy are at stake. We urge the Senate to take the next step and move forward on legislation that would improve the Bureau over the long term.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress, and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.



The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


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