Fair lending isn’t anyone’s job, it’s everyone’s obligation and many bankers, including lenders and compliance officers, take it for granted. We must be proactive and transparent so there is no sign of impropriety or that it is viewed as a trivial matter. You must stay ahead of the power curve.
Fair lending hasn’t made it to everyone’s front burner – yet. If your bank has audited itself and is very comfortable that its lending pattern is indicative of your market, there are no complaints, disparate treatment is nonexistent and your lending data speaks for itself in loans made and denied, then you’re mostly there. Now you just need to convince your examiners.
But here are snippets from the red lining enforcement action in late 2021 when a $5 million penalty was assessed plus a $3.85 million lending pledge due to redlining and disparate treatment:
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said, “The federal government will be working to rid the market of racist business practices, including those by discriminatory algorithms.”
Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu. “Today’s announcement is important because it signifies the unified and unmitigated focus that each of our agencies has placed on the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Our collective efforts are critical to addressing the discriminatory lending practices that create and reinforce racial inequity in the financial system.”
Attorney General Garland said, “Lending discrimination runs counter to fundamental promises of our economic system. When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to share in our nation’s prosperity is all but eliminated.”
It is imperative that your bank be prepared for a rigorous fair lending exam and that you understand your data better than your examiners. What about appraisals? The headlines has intensified about disparity in appraisals. Do you understand where the complaints are coming from? We’ll explain this.
Fair lending issues are beginning to grow and are hitting the press. There has been the $5 million CMP for redlining, HMDA LAR data problems, podcasts leading to charges of redlining and banking policies resulting in redlining and reverse redlining of minority neighborhoods. There are many touchpoints between compliance and fair lending, and it’s more than consumer protections which are extremely important to the current administration.
We’ll talk about all these issues and more in this fast paced fair lending update. I hope you’ll be able to join me.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Compliance, Audit, lenders, and anyone working on gathering and inputting HMDA data and the banks CRA program as it is impacted directly by fair lending successes and failures.