The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created as a part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB claims in its mission statement that it is here to, “…educate consumers, enforce federal consumer financial laws, and gather and analyze available information to better understand consumers, financial services providers, and consumer financial markets.”
Here are some of the core functions the CFPB is responsible for:
- Take complaints from consumers
- Author and publish rules to inform and protect consumers
- Supervise businesses and enforce federal consumer protection laws
- Educate consumers about financial topics
- Research the financial behavior of consumers
- Monitor markets and take note of new risks to consumers
- Enforce laws that prohibit discrimination or unfair treatments in consumer finances.
With all of this information in mind, let’s take a look at the results of a recent survey. This survey was given to 3,225 potential voters and 3,604 U.S. adults. It was conducted between June 5th and June 10th of 2015. Here are some of the findings of this survey:
73 percent of survey respondents believe that the CFPB should be held to the same standards as other federal agencies when it comes to anti-discrimination rules. 77 percent agreed that women with equal qualifications as men should be paid the same amount at the CFPB. 66 percent of survey respondents believe that the director of the bureau should be fired because of an incident where CFPB officials called a division with a large number of African-American employees the “Plantation” and another incident where a manager with the CFPB allegedly referred to an employee as an “expletive… foreigner.”
A mere 20 percent of survey respondents agree that the CFPB should be able to review consumer’s credit card information without direct consent and that the bureau should be allowed to collect information from credit card accounts to track how the average consumer spends money. 57 percent of responders completely disagreed with the 20 percent mentioned above when it comes to the CFPB accessing and using consumer credit card information.
The majority of respondents expressed a lack of confidence about the CFPB’s ability to safeguard credit card data. In fact, only 8 percent of respondents said that the CFPB’s collection methods were better than the NSA’s review of peoples’ text and phone records. 43 percent said that the CFPB’s snooping into credit card data is just as bad as the NSA spying on people.
Of the people polled, 68 percent disagree with the government being able to tell consumers how to make the best financial decisions and how to spend their money. 71 percent believe that it is the responsibility of consumers to decide whether they should take out loans and mortgages with unfavorable terms, as long as those terms were presented clearly in the loan documentation. 65 percent of the survey respondents said that consumers should be able to decide about payday loans, even if those loans feature high fees that borrowers must pay. There were only 25 percent of respondents who believe that the CFPB should be able to put restrictions on short term loans and other types of alternative financial products.
Whether or not the CFPB will take any of this survey information into consideration is anyone’s guess. However, the numbers clearly tell the story that consumers in this country do not want – or need – a watchdog group that is going to restrict their rights to the financial products that people prefer to use. Even if a loan features expensive fees, it is clear that consumers understand this fact and want the freedom to be able to choose those types of loans if that is what they consider best for their personal situations.read more