WASHINGTON, June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the heels of contentious debate on Capitol Hill about NSA's domestic spying program, a new U.S. Consumer Coalition (USCC) – Zogby Analytics poll finds a majority of Americans oppose the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) monitoring of Americans' credit card purchases. The poll, which is the first national survey about the recent operations of the little-known government agency, showed the majority of Americans oppose the CFPB's ongoing efforts to restrict access to certain consumer financial products. The poll also showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to see the CFPB subject to congressional oversight through the appropriations process.
"Americans have spoken loudly for the first time in this survey that they believe this agency is invading their privacy and restricting their freedom of choice in a way that makes them very uncomfortable," said Brian Wise, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Consumer Coalition. The organization commissioned a nationwide survey of 3,225 likely voters and 3,604 adults to better understand how Americans feel about the CFPB. "They clearly oppose the agency's activities to invade their privacy, track their purchases, and efforts to tell them what products they can and cannot use."
The CFPB has come under fire in recent months for proposing controversial regulations of consumer financial products without congressional approval. The CFPB instituted a program to acquire and monitor the purchases of more than 500 million credit cards of American consumers. The CFPB has also refused to provide information to Congress on the purpose of the data collection program, or agree to allow Americans an opportunity to opt-out.
Key Findings of the USCC-Zogby Analytics Poll Include:
- A majority (55%) of respondents believe the CFPB's data collection program is similar or worse than the controversial NSA monitoring program.
- Only 20% of those polled believed that the CFPB should be able to collect and review Americans' credit card statements without their knowledge.
- 78% of respondents believe the CFPB should have to seek Congressional approval for its budget like other agencies.
- Nearly 70% of those polled believe that the government should not be able to tell consumers how to spend their money or make financial decisions for their families.
- 71% agreed that it is the consumer's responsibility to determine whether or not to take out loans and mortgages with unfavorable terms as long as they are presented clearly.
"We have a powerful agency unilaterally regulating products and industries while subjecting Americans to an unprecedented invasion of their personal financial data. And it's clear Americans don't like it," said Wise. "Consumers are increasingly against the government telling them how to spend their money and are skeptical of the claim that mountains of their personal data are needed to keep them safe – not from terrorists in this case – but from themselves and their own choices. USCC hopes that this survey will raise awareness about a number of the questionable activities of the CFPB and serve as a catalyst for real reform to protect America's consumers from the so-called 'consumer protector.'"
The poll was conducted June 5 – 10 and has a 1.7% margin of error with a 95% confidence interval. More information on the U.S. Consumer Coalition and the poll can be found at www.USConsumers.org/cfpbpoll.
SOURCE United States Consumer Coalition