TOWS/AFR Statement: New Poll Reveals Strong Public Support to Stop Lending Discrimination


May 11, 2018

Carter Dougherty

(202) 251-6700


New Poll Reveals Strong Public Support to Stop Lending Discrimination


A new poll reveals overwhelming public support for government action to stop lenders from discriminating against borrowers of color.

The survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners for Take On Wall Street, shows overwhelming majorities of nearly every group of voters support “holding financial companies accountable if they discriminate against people because of their race or ethnicity.” This includes 88% of all likely voters, 87% of surge/drop-off voters, 94% of Democrats, 89% of independents, and 81% of Republicans. Voters would also be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports ending racial discrimination in lending, to the tune of 76% of likely voters, 84% of surge/drop-off voters, 74% of Democrats, 81% of independents, and 73% of Republicans.

“The prevailing sentiment in the country, regardless of party or geography, is to fight racial discrimination in lending,” said Rion Dennis, financial reform advocate at Americans for Financial Reform. “Lawmakers who voted to roll back the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s effort to guard against discrimination in auto lending were steering against the will of their own voters, no matter what party. Congress should be strengthening these types of protections, not wiping them out.”

This week, the House passed a measure to rescind regulatory guidance issued by the CFPB that aimed to ensure that lenders don’t enable discrimination by auto dealers in car loan pricing. It passed the Senate on March 14, so the guidance has been undone. The House will also soon take up a Senate-passed bill (S. 2155) that exempts most banks from fully reporting data that lets regulators understand whether there’s discrimination in mortgage lending. The bill also eases oversight of banks with between $50 and $250 billion in assets.

“Americans are united:  instead of giving Wall Street more tax breaks, we need to hold them accountable for their discriminatory actions which create mountains of debt for hardworking women, African Americans, and Latinos,” said Porter McConnell, Take On Wall Street campaign manager. “Doing so is good policy that will make the economy work better for everyone, and these poll results underline that it is very good politics as well.”