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More, Not Less, Financial Regulation Needed Say Voters

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Michael Calhoun

Financial accountability and tough regulations are still needed, say 3 out of 4 likely voters. These two top line findings from a recent poll measured consumer satisfaction with Wall Street banks as well as a range of other financial services and providers including credit cards, debt collectors, payday loans and mortgages. The poll, jointly commissioned by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), reveals that these preferences are shared across partisan affiliations.

When asked whether more financial regulation was needed, 69 percent of all respondents said yes. By contrast, only 12 percent believed that these firms have changed their practices enough to not warrant further regulation. When partisan preferences were analyzed, a majority of all groups agreed: 52 percent of Republications, 68 percent of Independents and 84 percent of Democrats.

Voters were also asked whether more financial oversight was needed. Among all respondents, 66 percent agreed, including nearly half of Republicans - 49 percent. Independents at 63 percent agreed with 85 percent Democrats.

“Nearly five years following the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumers are still calling for financial accountability,” said Mike Calhoun, CRL president. “Efforts to bring transparency and fairness to personal finance may have begun. But these new results signify that our work must continue. Every consumer is entitled to financial fairness.”

In the aftermath of the housing crisis and resulting economic recession, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the first federal agency to place consumer finance as its sole focus. CFPB operations began on July 21, 2011.

According to CFPB’s most recent semi-annual report to Congress, as of March 31 approximately 859,900 consumer complaints have been filed with the agency and $3.4 billion in restitution has been paid to consumers.

At the request of CRL and AFR, Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting has conducted a similar annual national telephone survey since 2012. This year’s poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken from June 23 through June 27, 2016. For more findings, see the poll summary memo and topline poll results on the AFR website.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Charlene Crowell at or 919.313.8523