Americans strongly support rules to protect consumers from unfair financial practices, such as discrimination, excessive fees, and abusive lending and debt collection
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new poll released today shows voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly back the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), financial regulation generally and a variety of new, specific consumer protections. The findings are released as the Supreme Court is poised to consider a lawsuit from payday lenders that could invalidate the CFPB’s funding mechanism, which would undermine its effectiveness.
Read the polling memo and toplines with the full results. A bipartisan polling team from Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting conducted the survey. The Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform commissioned the poll.
“This poll reveals Americans of all ideological stripes support the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. People want the CFPB to stop financial discrimination and other unfair practices. Any move to defang this consumer watchdog would be extremely unpopular,” said Charla Rios, deputy director of research at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).
“Wall Street and predatory lenders loom large enough in voters’ financial lives that they support having a federal agency whose sole mission is to look out for consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proved its worth to the country since its inception. Weakening it would be bad for consumers and honest businesses,” said Elyse Hicks, consumer policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform (AFR).
The poll revealed that, after hearing a brief description of the CFPB and its mission, nearly four in five voters (79%) say they favor the agency with strong majorities across party lines.
Over seven in ten voters (72%) support the CFPB cracking down on discrimination in all areas of consumer financial products, not only in lending. The Chamber of Commerce recently sued to stop the CFPB from monitoring for non-credit financial discrimination, such as in opening a checking account.
Over seven in ten voters support proposals to rein in harassment by debt collectors, protect student borrowers from abuse, limit credit card and overdraft fees, lower the interest rate on high-cost loans to 36% and stop financial technology companies (“fintechs”) from evading consumer protections.
The survey has a range of additional questions, including on Wall Street’s influence in Washington, COVID-19 assistance, Buy Now Pay Later credit and President Biden’s action to cancel some student loan debt.