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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC gives annual ECOA summary to CFPB

Federal Issues CFPB FTC ECOA Fair Lending

Federal Issues

On February 21, the FTC announced it recently provided the CFPB with its annual summary of work on ECOA-related policy issues, focusing specifically on the Commission’s activities with respect to Regulation B. The summary discusses, among other things, the following FTC research and policy development initiatives:

  • The FTC continued its series of Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Session 12 of these hearings specifically focused on consumer privacy and “the use of big data in automated decision making and how . . . ECOA should inform the use of data collected from consumers.” Session 14 included a roundtable of state attorneys general and senior staff who addressed consumer protection issues related to “the impact of big data and algorithms on equal access to credit.”
  • The FTC held a forum with a variety of business leaders, enforcement attorneys, and policymakers to discuss ECOA’s applicability to small business financing.
  • The FTC held a consumer reporting workshop to discuss ECOA as well as (i) consumer report furnisher practices; (ii) making credit decisions based on fairness; and (iii) avoiding the use of a prohibited basis in extending credit.
  • The FTC’s Military Task Force continued to work on military consumer protection issues, including military consumers’ rights to “various types of notifications as applicants for credit, including for adverse action, and information about the anti-discrimination provisions, in ECOA and Regulation B.”
  • The FTC continued to participate in the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending, along with the CFPB, DOJ, HUD, and federal banking regulatory agencies.

The summary also highlights FTC business and consumer education efforts on fair lending issues, as well as blog posts discussing the online marketplace for small business financing.

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