The highly contested leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be a bipartisan commission if it was up to voters to decide.
The Consumer Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the American Land Title Association teamed up to commission a Morning Consult poll of registered voters in key battleground states, including Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio and West Virginia. The Morning Consult conducted the online survey of 6,132 registered voters from May 3 to 16, 2017.
According to the findings, 58% percent of registered voters in key battleground states say a bipartisan commission should run the CFPB. Only 14% said the CFPB should keep its current structure.
The survey also found that more than half of voters believe a commission would help consumers and small businesses, with 59% saying a commission would better position the CFPB to help consumers over the long run.
Three in five voters said a commission would make the CFPB fairer (63%), more representative (62%), more accountable (62%), and more transparent (60%).
Plus, 57% said the CFPB’s authority to supervise financial institutions, write rules and enforce penalties is too important to be controlled by a single director.
Richard Cordray is currently the director of the CFPB, but there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the position.
The leading option to replace Dodd-Frank, which created the CFPB in response to the financial crisis, retains a single director of the bureau. However, under the Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, the CFPB would be renamed the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency.
The original Financial CHOICE Act planned to change the single director structure to a bipartisan independent Commission serving staggered terms. However, this didn’t make it into the updated Financial CHOICE Act 2.0 that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, revealed earlier this year.
Instead, in the newest version, the Consumer Financial Opportunity Agency would be an executive agency with a sole director removable at will. The deputy director would also be appointed and removed by the president.