Dodd Frank Anniversary Poll: Three Out of Four Voters Favor Strong Oversight of Wall Street

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Financial reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with Americans likely to vote in 2012, according to a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners. The poll was commissioned by AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). July 21, 2012 marks the two-year anniversary of the Dodd Frank Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Key survey findings include:

  • Voters favor the Dodd Frank financial reform law by a 53-point margin (73-20). The support crosses party lines, with Republicans in favor by a 20-point margin, Independents by a 50-point margin and Democrats by an 83-point margin.
  • Voters support the CFPB by a 40-point margin. Two-thirds (66 percent) of voters overall and 69 percent of Independents agree that the CFPB is needed.
  • Two-thirds of voters - including 78 percent of Republicans - support a state's right to pass and enforce stronger consumer protections and preventing federal law from overriding them.
  • Americans clearly want stronger, not weaker, government oversight of financial companies. A majority (60 percent) of voters, including 65 percent of Independents, favor more government oversight. And 73 percent of voters support tougher rules and enforcement for Wall Street financial companies, compared to just 17 percent who say they don't need further regulation.
  • Voters want Wall Street to be held accountable and prevented from repeating the same actions again. Nearly two-thirds of voters (64 percent) agree with a statement that Wall Street must be held accountable and prevented from repeating the same actions again and believe this will help the economy. Just 28 percent agree with an opposing statement that Wall Street reform is a job killer that creates excessive government regulation and bureaucracy that stands in the way of our economic recovery.
  • More than nine in 10 (93 percent) are in favor of the policy that established additional mortgage and foreclosure protections so military service members are protected.
  • Voters want clarity when dealing with financial companies: 92 percent favor a policy that requires banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and student loan and auto lenders to provide clearer explanations of their rates, terms and fees. Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) favor having a searchable database so consumers can both report unfair financial practices and view complaints made by others.
  • By a 3 to 1 margin, voters support the CFPB having authority to oversee consumer lenders, rather than giving authority back to the pre-Wall Street Reform regulators.

Source: AARP, Americans For Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending and National Council of La Raza

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