"For all of us, access to financial services is essential for funding an education, business or home purchase. Borrowing money on fair and appropriate terms is very much at the heart of capitalism and the catalyst for recognizing the American dream.”
Esther George, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Nov. 16, 2021, “Racism and the Economy: Focus on Financial Services”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is asking for public input and has published External LinkSmall Business Lending Data Collection Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in the Federal Register. The comment period is open through Jan. 6, 2022.
The importance of lending products for small businesses has been raised by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at events in 2021, including a legislative summit in March with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “When it comes to the Hispanic community, there is such a frustrating irony in the historic data: On the one hand, this community outperforms in the creation of new businesses. On the other, you have less access to capital to create and grow them in the first place. One study looked at national banks and their loan approval rates for white- and Latino-owned firms. The approval rate for Latino-owned companies was 60% lower – and that’s even when controlling for how the business was performing.”
The CFPB is proposing to require that covered financial institutions collect and report data on applications for credit for small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities. This change would be expected to facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws, and to enable communities, governmental entities and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities for women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses.