April 26th, 2010
10:34 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Two-thirds support stricter financial regulations


 A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday morning indicates 65 percent of the public supports stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, with 31 percent opposed. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Hours before a showdown in the Senate over the Democrats financial reform legislation, a new national poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations of banks and Wall Street firms.

According to a ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday morning, 65 percent of the public supports stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, with 31 percent opposed. A majority of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month also favored greater government regulation of banks and other financial institutions.

Taking a look at some of the provisions in the legislation, the ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates that nearly six in ten back increasing federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies issue credit cards and make consumer loans, such as mortgages and auto loans. And 53 percent support requiring large banks and other financial companies to put money into a fund that would cover the cost of taking over and breaking up any large financial company that fails and threatens the broader economy; 42 percent are opposed.

But according to the poll, Americans are divided on allowing the federal government to regulate the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, with a large number who seem unfamiliar with the issue. Opinion is split with 43 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed; 17 percent have no opinion.

The public is also split at 48 percent on approval of how President Barack Obama has handled regulation of Wall Street and the big banks, but the public trusts him on this issue more than they do the GOP. The survey indicates that 52 percent think Obama would do a better job handling the issue, with 35 percent saying that they trust congressional Republicans to do a better job.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted April 22-25, with 1,001 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: Financial Reform
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. ATL Guy

    I'll say it here: AMERICANS ARE IDIOTS!!!! We deserve to go through these periodic schemes and frauds. If we send people like McConnell and those clown Republicans to Congress and the Senate, then we deserve what we get. They're not going to support reform even though they say they want reform. Just like healthcare reform. The want reform, just not "that type of reform". It's like saying you want pizza but keep bickering until everyone gives up and orders chinese.

    April 26, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Financial reform is more important than the popularity of the Republican Party. Why is that so obvious to everyone but Republicans?

    April 26, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Paul from Phoenix

    Warren Buffett, Obama supporter, was able to get harsh language on currently owned derivatives lifted from the Dem proposal after "meeting" with Sen. Nelson (D – Neb), and others.

    Where is the cronyism outrage from the libs?

    April 26, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. businesses DO NOT look long term

    Wall Street cannot be trusted to look after itself

    the SEC cannot be trusted to look after Wallstreet (but the SEC does do a good job of monitoring the porn on the web)

    April 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Strict reforms are needed. When 600 trillion dollars of derivatives are kept in the dark, I think it's safe to say that's an accident waiting to happen. Pass reform bofore the crooks on Wall St. take us on another free-fall.

    April 26, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. John

    I'm sure the words will be short but in large font with plenty of pictures. I just hope his hands aren't too discolored from all the ink...lol

    April 26, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Peace

    How can it be that anyone who hates "bail out" can not join in foreseeing the regulations are set and implemented immediately!

    April 26, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. R.E.B.

    Watch the party of no change their minds after this poll.

    April 26, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Of course we support stricter regulations of the financial industry! It has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are a bunch of gambling-addicted, reckless thieves who have absolutely no problem lying, manipulating and stealing from hard-working people.

    I think there also needs to be very thorough criminal investigations, with convictions resulting in jail time for the perpetrators of these thefts and frauds.

    I bet two-thirds of the American public would support that, too!

    April 26, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. Wisconsinite

    "35 percent saying that they trust congressional Republicans to do a better job"

    Really?? With the Republicans ALREADY saying they're going to try to block DEBATE of the bill??? Seems to me the "35 percent" are misgueded if they think we can trust the Republicans at all . . . . about anything!

    April 26, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. gt

    amreicans are sick of these big bankers big salaries ,, ripping off the little man,,,,nail there hide to wall..

    April 26, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. soneill

    As time passes, history will most fefinitely speak and judge this man favorably – he really had a lot on his plate. By and large, he was a good man.

    April 26, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. independent

    The Party of No, which they now brag about, has stated, "no legislation until after the next election". This means the progress, no action, no solutions until after the next election. What if they don't get the majority then, on which they are counting? Will they say, "no legislation until 2012, or 2014? How long will they hold the majority of voters hostage.

    Petulant children is what they are. If you don't vote for us, we will hold you hostage and make matters worse for everyone until you do.

    America, wake up!

    April 26, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Marty, FL

    Are you paying attention, Sen. Hutchinson, Shelby, McConnell and other GOP? If Republicans try to block much-needed financial reform today, make them filibuster, a REAL filibuster.

    Force Republicans to stand before the majority of Americans trying to defend the indefensible–siding with Wall St. greed, corporate bankers, hedge fund managers, etc.

    Let the American people/tea partiers see the REAL Republicans before the November elections.

    April 26, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Walter

    Effectively regulating Wall Street is a bit like keeping Social Security solvent – its a moving target. No sooner do you finish one fix then you have to start thinking about the next one.

    The alternative, in both cases, is to just let the system slide toward disaster.

    Apparently, the Republicans have convinced nearly one-third of the American people that they would be better off if the financial industry simply collapsed under the weight of its own excesses.

    April 26, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Steve (the real one)

    Interestingly enough when polls go against against Dems, they tend to question the validity of the polls and then state "How can 1000 people speak for the nation"! Well here is a poll that favors the Dems and I now ask, how can 1000 people speak for the nation? Nobody polled me! The majority was ignored during the healthcare debates, I see no reason not to ignore the majority one more time!

    April 26, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Terry From West Texas

    Our generation-long experiment with the "free" or lawless economy is a failure. What we need is a well-regulated economy. The argument that the economy is self-regulating is bogus. The only reason many of you believe it is because it is human nature to believe what you hear most often. The evidence is all on the other side.

    If we have learned anything over the last thirty years, it is this: a man will do anything for a hundred million dollars. He will cook the books, hide assets, hide liabilities, exaggerate income, lie to stockholders, lie to the government, lie to consumers, bribe government officials, rig elections, sell poisonous toys to our children, bankrupt the nation, destroy the savings of the elderly, use deceptive advertising, hire illegal labor, outsource our jobs, cut our benefits, lay off 25% of us, and make the rest of us work 60 hour weeks to keep our jobs.

    Remember, those "entrepreneurs" who led our economy off the cliff a couple of years ago are doing just fine. They made a LOT of money. They have no plans to change.

    April 26, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Ken in NC

    We started down hil years ago after both parties took part in deregulations. Simple solution. PUT THEM BACK IN PLACE. The banking and financial Industry hated the regulatons because they prevented them from doing stupid stuff that they claimed they would not do that they did as soon as they got the chance.

    Now they have done what they claimed they would not do, here we stand broke, busted and disgusted.

    April 26, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Jeff

    We don't need more bank regulation, we need to just nationalize the banking industry and eliminate all private banks outright. Banking is a form of infrastructure. Just like out roadways are publicly built for the public good, the same should be the case with bank. All banks should be non-profit, governent run., and convert the Fed from a private bank to a public one too while we're at it.

    April 26, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Mark

    We all want financial reform. JUST NOT THE WAY OBAMA IS PROPOSING.

    April 26, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Laverne

    Since republicans love polls, so now what? Act NOW that is, If you are not really on Wall St. side, hmmmmm!

    April 26, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. William Jefferson

    Who are the 1/3 that oppose regulation? Are they all working as servants to big bankers? Or do they just aspire to be vassels of Wall Street?

    April 26, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. maryd, iowa

    those 35% of the voters were the same Repubilcans who thought Bush was doing a great job in office, even when the ship was sinking. How come they always get polled?

    April 26, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Financial institutions have 5 lobbyist to every congressional member in an attempt to stop financial regulation, yes, that's right 5 lobbyist. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Banks are lobbying against financial reform. THEY WANT TO CONTINUE BUSINESS AS USUAL AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE. WAKEUP OUT THERE PEOPLE.

    April 26, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Dale

    SURE – As long as it's not lawmakers making the new laws......Why do you think we have this problem now?

    They think they are smarter than the business men, guess what? They'll never be smarter and the American people will pay the price for these idiots trying to out smart the really smart people.

    April 26, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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