New Poll Demonstrates Broad Support for Financial Reform

77% of Americans want Tougher Rules for Wall Street


Center for Responsible Lending
July 19, 2011

An overwhelming majority of Americans—Republican, Democratic, and Independent—favor strong, sensible oversight of the financial services industry, including a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new poll finds. (Read CRL's analysis.)

By a 3 to 1 margin Americans want financial firms held accountable and financial reforms to take effect as soon as possible. And they want the CFPB—created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010—to be up and running as planned, not diluted by industry’s current attempts to weaken its funding and structure.

The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, and sponsored by AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform, found the following: 

  • After hearing arguments in support of and in opposition to financial reforms, voters across party lines solidly support the Wall Street reform law.
  • Voters favor a single federal agency with the sole mission of safeguarding the public from deceptive financial practices and predatory products.
  • Voters believe safeguards will help restore the economy and not, as some on Wall Street say, stand in its way.

Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President of AARP: “During the financial crisis, too many older Americans lost their savings due to the failure of an outdated and compromised financial regulatory system. That's why most Americans say they want clear, accurate information so they can make the best financial decisions for their families, and a watchdog that will protect them from financial abuse.”

Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending: “Everyday Americans know what’s good for their pocketbooks, their families, and our economy—that’s why a large, bipartisan majority is calling for financial reforms to take effect. Let’s hope policymakers hear them loud and clear.”

Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform:  “Voters were very clear. They do not buy Wall Street’s arguments against reform, and they do want effective cops on the beat policing the financial marketplace."

 Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About Americans for Financial Reform

Americans for Financial Reform is a coalition of more than 250 national, state, and local groups who have come together to advocate for reform of the financial sector. Members of AFR include consumer, civil rights, labor, retiree, investor, community, faith based, and business groups along with prominent economists and other experts.

For more information: Kathleen Day, CRL, at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; Mary Liz Burns, AARP, (202) 434-2560; or John Carey, AFR, (202) 466-1854

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About the Center for Responsible Lending

The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions.