Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Has Strong Success Record On First Birthday

Illinois PIRG

Washington, D.C. – July 20, 2012 — Financial reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with those likely to vote in 2012, a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners shows. The poll was commissioned by AARP, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR). Saturday July 21 will mark the two year anniversary of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new agency with a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant unfounded political attacks in its first year of work.

“Congress created the CFPB to protect consumers from the hazards of a lack of regulation that caused the financial crisis,” said Hailey Witt, Field Director for Illinois PIRG. “Its record shows strong successes protecting consumers in just its first year, at the same time as polls show the American people want strong financial protections over Wall Street.

Key poll 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. 

Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform, said:  “The message is unmistakable:  Voters across the board are intensely supportive of stronger consumer protections. Strong majorities of voters across party lines say we need tougher rules for Wall Street and they do not want Congress to override a state’s ability to enforce stronger consumer protections at the state level.”

Illinois PIRG also released a summary of ten key CFPB achievements and priority projects underway.  These include: 

• The CFPB has protected veterans and other students from high-cost for-profit schools that have made false promises of employment opportunities and otherwise violated laws while also stepping up mortgage and servicing protections for service members who face problems with their loans because they are required to move.

• This week, the CFPB announced sweeping oversight of the powerful credit bureau industry. Credit bureaus, despite a record of mistake-ridden reports, are self-appointed gatekeepers to financial and economic opportunity.

• The CFPB has established a working complaint handling system that is already getting results for consumers with complaints about mortgages, student loans, bank accounts, car loans and credit cards. The credit card complaint system is the first to be added to a new publicly-available and searchable complaint database.

• CFPB has provided “Know Before You Owe” financial tools for student loans, mortgages and other financial products, to aid students, seniors and other consumers.

“The CFPB has accomplished a lot for consumers and it has other important projects underway,” concluded Hailey Witt. “Congress needs to listen to the public, not the well-heeled opponents of financial reform launching continuous anti-CFPB attacks, and let the CFPB do its job as America’s first financial agency with only one job: protecting consumers.”


Illinois PIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization. On the web at www.illinoispirg.org 

Illinois PIRG is a founding member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 250 national, state and local consumer, civil rights, investor, retiree, community, labor, religious, business and other groups who have come together to reform the financial industry. AFR is on the web at ourfinancialsecurity,org 

MEDIA CONTACTS:  HAILEY WITT AT 312-544-4433 x 217

For the Poll: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or [email protected]

AFR nationally, Marvin Silver at 202-466-4282

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available as of 3 p.m. EDT on July 18, 2012 at http://www.ourfinancialsecurity.org.