Small businesses share community banks’ sentiments about too-big-to-fail banks and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to survey results collected by Small Business Majority, a small business advocacy group. The majority of the 500 small businesses polled support tougher regulations for Wall Street and other financial companies.
Four in five small business owners polled think Wall Street should be held accountable for the practices that caused the financial crisis through tougher rules and enforcement. Only one in five believe these companies’ practices have changed enough that they don’t need more regulation.
Two-thirds of business owners believe government oversight of financial companies − including new rules under the Dodd Frank Act − should increase or remain at current levels. Only one-third believes regulation should decrease.
There also was overwhelmingly support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The majority (84 percent) believes the CFPB is needed as a federal agency that enforces clear rules for financial companies selling mortgages and other loans, and prevents abusive lending practices. And two-thirds said the Bureau’s structure and independent funding should be maintained. Only 29 percent said the CFPB’s funding should go through the Congressional budget process.
Interestingly, Small Business Majority did not ask small business owners if they believe the $10 billion in assets floor on CFPB regulation was appropriate. It also did not ask them if they distinguished between large and small banks. While the survey shows that small business owners want to end TBTF, it is not clear if they would like more Dodd-Frank and CFPB rules to apply to community banks, which themselves are small businesses.