By James Sunshine
As of Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is open for business. And many Americans have already expressed their support.
The agency, first conceived of by Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, was created under last summer’s financial reform with the aim of protecting consumers from abuses by financial institutions. Republicans, however, have promised to block any nominee to run the CFPB until its powers are scaled back.
The sentiments of Republicans, however, appear to stand in opposition to the sentiments of the American people, according to a new poll by Lake Research Partners.
The poll, sponsored by the AARP, Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending, found that as many as 63 percent of Americans favor more, not less, government oversight of financial companies. Only a small minority of those polled, 25 percent, want the opposite.
Of those polled, 74 percent favored having a single agency focus on protecting consumers from financial organizations. And it’s not split down partisan lines, either. Indeed, 68 percent of Republicans feel the same.
The opening of the CFPB comes only one day after Wells Fargo was hit with an $85 million fine for pushing consumers with good credit into purchasing subprime loans that had high interest rates, the largest consumer settlement ever imposed by the Federal Reserve.
Earlier this week, it was announced that President Obama would nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new government agency, despite Elizabeth Warren long being considered the president’s top choice. In a statement to the press, Warren said Cordray would make a “stellar director.”