July 29, 2020

CFPB seeks feedback on preventing discrimination

CFPBThe CFPB Tuesday issued a request for information (RFI) related to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B to ensure a regulatory environment that expands access to credit and ensures all consumers and communities are protected from discriminatory practices in all aspects of a credit transaction.

The bureau had planned to host a symposium on these issues in the fall; the RFI is being issued in lieu of the event. The CFPB today is hosting a symposium on cost-benefit analysis; NAFCU will provide credit unions with insights following the two-panel event. Registration to watch the livestream is available here.

The bureau noted in the RFI release that the ECOA and Regulation B "make it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age; because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act."

In the RFI, it specifically asks questions related to several issues NAFCU engages with the bureau on, including:

  • disparate impact;
  • limited English proficiency resources;
  • affirmative advertising;
  • lending to women- and minority-owned small businesses; and
  • innovative approaches using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning related to adverse action notices and underwriting decisions.

Comments are due to the bureau 60 days after the RFI is published in the Federal Register.