The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may be hated by Republicans and the Trump White House, but it turns out to have strong support among consumers.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending are planning to release a survey that shows at least 80 percent of Americans are concerned by Trump's recent efforts to limit oversight of banks and payday lenders, and potentially shut down the database of consumer complaints. What's more, the survey is expected to show that a high percentage of Americans are concerned about reduced regulatory oversight of racial discrimination among lenders, more cozy relationships between government officials and industry lobbyists, and laws that will ease the rules for businesses instead of focusing on protecting consumers.
“This survey tells us that people haven’t been swayed by arguments that the CFPB is a job killer,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform in the report. “They think financial regulation is important to them, and it needs to be tougher, not weaker. This means the actions being taken by the administration are completely opposite to the will of the people.”
The two groups conducted a telephone survey at the end of June and into July of 1,000 likely voters. Survey results showed support for the CFPB across party lines, with both Republicans and Democrats expressing support for strong enforcement of financial rules that would impact them personally. Furthermore, the survey found that close to two-thirds of voters said they view the work of the CFPB in the same way they view other government agencies tasked with protecting consumers, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The survey also found that when those polled got a clear explanation of the CFPB's mission, close to three-quarters said it's a good thing, with 78 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans signaling that view. Of the survey respondents, 71 percent said they want more regulations of financial firms, not less, which is the stance held by the Republican majority, including President Trump.