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Philadelphia, PA—Leading consumer groups today announced the results of a poll showing that an overwhelming majority of likely voters both support a new consumer agency (74%) and want Wall Street held “accountable” (77%), along with a report documenting “10 reasons” consumers need the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau will take over enforcement of all major consumer laws on Thursday, July 21. The groups called for the Senate to vote to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray as its director, so that the CFPB is able to fulfill the promise of consumer financial protection.
This week the President nominated Rich Cordray as the CFPB’s first director. But leading consumer groups warn that on Capitol Hill the CFPB continued to face fierce political opposition as “powerful Wall Street banks” opposed the bureau and vowed to block the confirmation of any director.
“The good news is that this week, there’s a new police department to protect consumers from predatory lending and financial tricks and traps,” said Alana Millier, a PennPIRG associate. “The bad news is that Wall Street banks have asked their friends in Congress to defund and defang the bureau by denying it a director.”
With the coming July 21st ‘transfer date’, the groups released a new poll of 800 likely voters prepared by Americans for Financial Reform, AARP and the Center for Responsible Lending.
Among its highlights:
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of all likely voters support a “single agency with the single mission of protecting consumers” from unfair financial practices.
- Three-quarters of all likely voters (77%) want Wall Street held “accountable.” Support is diverse as the results included over two-thirds of Republicans (70%).
- Two out of three likely voters (66%), including nearly half of Republicans (49%), agreed that “We cannot get our economy back on track without strong financial reform.” Less than one-quarter (23%) agreed with the statement “The so-called Wall Street reform law is a job killer.”
The groups also released a new report, “10 Reasons We Need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now.” Among its findings: - The report documents that while the failure of federal regulators to prevent predatory mortgage lending is well known, it is less well-known that federal regulators also failed to stop unfair credit card tricks, overdraft fee schemes and the growth of triple-digit APR and payday loans, which are now imposing a crushing financial burden on many families.
- The report’s documents that these failures lead to the conclusion that consumer protection should be housed in one agency with just one job, protecting consumers from unsafe financial products, no matter where they buy them, at banks, payday lenders or other firms.
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