Community, Consumer, and Civil Rights Groups Chart Preferred Path for OCC Regulation of Fintechs

Washington, DC – Today, 90 community, consumer, and civil rights groups sent a letter led by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) outlining the preferred path for regulation of financial technology companies (fintechs), such as online marketplace lenders, if they are granted charters by the regulator. The groups propose that any charters from the OCC must be accompanied by Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-like obligations and examination of the companies’ compliance with fair lending and consumer protection laws, and that these regulations not preempt state regulation.

“If the OCC moves forward with plans to extend charters to fintech companies, such as online marketplace lenders, these charters should come along with CRA-like obligations, to ensure that the companies chartered are serving communities responsibly.” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “Such action by the OCC must also be carefully designed so as not to preempt state regulations. The OCC, in coordination with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, must also carry out rigorous exams to make sure the companies are in compliance with fair lending and consumer protection laws. These steps are necessary to ensure sound lending, and to prevent potential disparate impact from fintechs’ underwriting algorithms that would harm protected classes.”

The letter to the OCC can be read here.

In July of this year, NCRC Director of Policy and Government Affairs Gerron Levi testified on the opportunities and challenges of fintech before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The testimony can be read here.

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About NCRC:
NCRC and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business development.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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