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January 6, 2022

Better Markets Supports CFPB Proposal to Fight Gender and Racial Financial Inequality by Requiring Robust Small Business Lending Data Collection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Contact: Doug Walker at 202-618-6430 or dwalker@bettermarkets.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legal Director and Securities Specialist Stephen Hall issued the following statement on the filing of Better Markets’ Comment Letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on its proposal to require financial institutions to collect and report demographic and other data on small business applications for credit, including small businesses owned by women and minorities:

“It is no secret that women and people of color face unjustified economic hardships as a result of historical and ongoing discrimination in our society and in our economy. Women earn as little as 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man and own just 32 cents for every dollar owned by a man. At the same time, the typical Black household holds just 10% of the wealth of the typical White household, a disparity that amounts to an astonishing wealth differential of $10.6 trillion.  These disparities also extend to the world of small business, where a pronounced gender and race-based entrepreneurship gap clearly exists.

“Critical to closing these economic divides is fair access to credit so that disadvantaged groups have an equal opportunity to create wealth, especially through small business development.  That is why Congress, in the Dodd-Frank Act, directed the CFPB to establish a rule for the collection of loan data to facilitate enforcement of the fair lending laws and to identify the community development needs of women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

We support the Bureau’s proposed rule, which will be critical to addressing the economic and human costs of unjust economic inequality.  As explained in our letter, we expect the rule not only to help detect fair lending abuses but also to induce positive change in the credit market simply by shining more light on lender conduct.  We also urge the CFPB to resist industry calls for carveouts or exemptions from the rule and to ensure that it broadly collects robust data.  Once in place, the rule will help address the unfair lending practices that have disadvantaged women and borrowers of color for far too long in this country.”

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.

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