Many Americans oppose ongoing efforts to restrict access to certain consumer financial products by the Consumer Protection Bureau, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Consumer Coalition.
Nearly 70 percent of those polled disagreed that the government should be able to tell consumers how to spend their money or how to make financial decisions for their own families. Seventy-one percent said that responsibility for a decision to take out loans and mortgages with unfavorable terms should reside with the consumer, so long as the terms are clearly presented.
Over three-quarters of respondents agreed that the CFPB should be subject to congressional oversight through the appropriations process.
The bureau came under fire last year for over-budget renovation costs to its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Only 20 percent of those polled believed that the CFPB should be able to collect and review Americans’ credit card statements without their knowledge or use the information to find out how and where consumers spend their money. Nearly 60 percent believed that the bureau should be able to do neither, with many expressing doubt that the bureau had the capability to keep such information secure.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents said the CFPB should be held to the same anti-discrimination standards as other agencies while 77 percent of respondents agreed that women with equal experience and qualifications should be paid the same as men at the CFPB.
Last year, a report from the American Bankershowed broad employment discrimination at the bureau. About 21 percent of the CFPB’s white employees received the highest possible performance rating at their yearend review. Only 9 percent of Hispanics received such a rating, under 11 percent of blacks and 15.5 percent of Asians scored the highest possible performance rating, according to the report.
“Americans have spoken loudly for the first time in this survey that they believe this agency is invading their privacy and restricting their freedom of choice in a way that makes them very uncomfortable,” said Brian Wise, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Consumer Coalition. “USCC hopes that this survey will raise awareness about a number of the questionable activities of the CFPB and serve as a catalyst for real reform to protect America’s consumers from the so-called ‘consumer protector.’”
The organization commissioned the nationwide survey of 3,225 likely voters and 3,604 adults to better understand how Americans feel about the CFPB. The survey was conducted June 5-10 by Zogby Analytics.