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Durable Support Across Party Lines For Tough Wall Street Rules and Oversight

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Michael Calhoun

CFPB mission of protecting consumers remains extremely popular

Voters concerned that federal COVID response favors Wall Street and big corporations

WASHINGTON, DC - Ten years after Congress passed a major reform of Wall Street in response to the financial crisis, voters continue to overwhelmingly support more and tougher regulation of finance and they strongly approve of the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a new survey by Lake Research Partners.

This support has proven remarkably durable and stretches across lines of party, race and ethnicity, age, and region. Support remains broad and deep despite the numerous events and issues demanding people’s attention, according to the surveys, which were commissioned by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending.

And, as the decade after the 2008 crisis unfolded to reveal continuing abuses by Wall Street, and the growth of predatory financial practices, the public’s appetite for additional reform has strengthened.

“The continuity, breadth and depth of public support for restructuring finance and Wall Street, and for tough oversight to protect the public interest remain extremely striking,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “Policymakers and candidates should pay attention. Transforming finance is one key to building a more just and equitable economy.”

“Americans suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic have not forgotten the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, many communities, especially communities of color, have yet to recover from the Great Recession. The current economic fallout highlights the need for strong oversight and regulation to make sure companies provide fair and equitable services that provide families opportunity, rather than undercutting their financial security,” said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending. “It’s no wonder then why folks understand the importance of strong safeguards for Wall Street and why this is a popular issue with voters.”

Nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) favor tougher rules and enforcement for Wall Street; support is strong among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Support for this view is the highest it has been since 2013.

Despite recent failures to protect consumers during the pandemic, the mission of the CFPB – to be an advocate for consumers vis-a-vis Wall Street and predatory lenders – remains immensely popular. An overwhelming majority (83%) support CFPB’s mission, the highest level since the question was first posed in 2013.

Many voters are also concerned that the federal government’s response to the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has mostly benefited Wall Street and big corporations, instead of those who have been hit hardest.

According to the poll, 56% of voters feel that Wall Street and big corporations are receiving too much help compared to families and small businesses. A majority of Democrats and independents, and a near-majority of Republicans hold this view. About 13% of voters were unsure.

Download a memo on the poll, the full toplines, as well as a time series, tracking questions back to 2012.

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Press Contact: ricardo.quinto@responsiblelending.org