The Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to collect information from financial institutions (not just banks) on credit applications from women- and minority-owned small businesses and other small businesses. Before proposing these data-collection requirements, the CFPB is seeking information that will inform not only any new reporting requirements, but also broader CFPB and regulatory action risks associated with small-business lending. Prudential and borrower-protection rules are outside the scope of the CFPB’s consumer-protection jurisdiction, but this provision in law gives it considerable scope to consider the small-business market and perhaps to identify areas where the Bureau believes violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) are under its small-business purview and warrant regulatory intervention. The Bureau’s approach to disparate-impact standards for indirect-auto lending suggest it could use its power here very broadly, especially if new data backup assertions of discriminatory credit practice.
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