Four-fifths of Americans are so unfamiliar with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau they don’t have an opinion on it, according to a survey from CreditCards.com.
Among the 17 percent who do have an opinion, favorable views outweighed unfavorable by 3-to-1 overall. Twelve percent liked the CFPB, with Republicans favoring it by 2-to-1 and Democrats by about 4-to-1. Four percent of respondents expressed an unfavorable opinion of the government watchdog and an additional 3 percent were undecided.
Of the 81 percent unfamiliar with the CFPB, the three demographics most likely not to know about the agency were young adults (91 percent of young adults fell into this bracket), those with less than $50,000 in annual income (85 percent were unfamiliar with the agency), and those with a high school education or less (87 percent).
Eighty percent of respondents support the bureau’s existence, although they don’t seem to be aware of it. Another question in the poll asked if respondents would support a federal agency that protects consumers from unfair, deceptive or abusive conduct in financial matters, including by taking action against companies that break the law. That language comes from the CFPB’s mission statement, although the bureau wasn’t named in the question. Of those who said yes, about as many Republicans expressed approval as Democrats.
CreditCards.com commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to obtain telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 507 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish from Feb. 16-19. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.