74% of consumers support approving CFPB director

by Mary Beth Quirk, Consumerist

cfpb 320 x 190This week the Senate is preparing to vote on whether or not to confirm Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, something that’s not a shock considering he’s been overseeing the bureau for the entirety of its existence, since January 2012. And while there has been some pushback against his confirmation, a survey from the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows 74% of consumers support the approval of a director.

Those surveyed want the CFPB to be able to continue doing the good work it’s been doing without interruption, say our esteemed cohorts at Consumer Reports, with another 55% of respondents saying that not allowing that work to go on unhampered so would harm consumers.

Another survey connected to the goings-on of the CFPB by the Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending backs this up:  80% of respondents said they supported the CFPB, while 83% said Wall Street financial companies should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement for the practices that caused the financial crisis.

A preliminary vote on Cordray’s confirmation is expected this week in the Senate. It’s been stalled because some senators don’t want to consider any nominee whatsoever without changes made to the CFPB first, changes that could weaken the bureau’s ability to protect consumers.

“The CFPB was created because too many consumers were being taken advantage of by predatory practices and schemes. Consumers clearly support the kind of work that the CFPB is doing. It’s time for the Senate to listen to consumers, stop stalling and confirm Richard Cordray,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. ”For the first time, we have a watchdog whose main job is to look out for consumers in the notoriously difficult and confusing financial-services marketplace. Consumers have fought too hard for the Senate to let the CFPB falter now.”

Cordray was first named director in January through a recess appointment, and was renominated this year. So far, CFPB enforcement actions have resulted in $425 million in refunds to approximately 6 million consumers who were subject to deceptive financial practices.

The CFPB has also paved the way for resolving more than 133,000 financial services complaints, covering areas like credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and bank account services.