Data Collection on Consumer Loans
There is no word yet on the proposal to amend Regulation B to permit collection of information on gender and race for consumer loan applications. When proposed for industry comment, the vote count at the Federal Reserve Board would have defeated the final rule. However, the membership of the Board is changing and a new vote count could be different.
In addition to new membership at the FRB, there are new issues. Since that April, 1995 meeting, the investigations of fair lending have moved into issues such as gender-based pricing, with attention being given to consumer loans. The lack of data on race and gender hinders the investigations. We can expect agencies such as DOJ and FTC to push harder for opening the door for data collection.
Those familiar with the history of HMDA predict that permission to collect data will quickly evolve into a requirement. It will also soon spread to cover data collection on all types of lending. The pressure for this is coming from community groups who would like the information for CRA purposes. We can therefore expect that the next loan categories subject to "voluntary" data collection will be those presently identified in CRA: small business loans and small farm loans.
Copyright © 1996 Compliance Action. Originally appeared in Compliance Action, Vol. 1, No. 6, 4/96
First published on 04/01/1996