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NCRC Applauds Stronger Anti-Discrimination Enforcement Plans From CFPB

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) on Wednesday released the following statement in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) announcement that it will utilize the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s (CFPA) prohibitions on unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices to combat discrimination:

“Our government has a duty to protect us all from discriminatory business practices and to ensure every American has equal access to personal finance and wealth-building services,” NCRC President and CEO Jesse Van Tol said. “Today’s announcement indicates that the CFPB under Director Rohit Chopra will once again be the effective consumer watchdog it was created to be.

“The agency is recognizing and embracing legal authorities granted by Congress that have gone underutilized in the past. These updates to the CFPB’s enforcement regime will directly and materially improve the lives of hardworking people of color who have routinely been shut out of basic financial services, without meaningful repercussions for the businesses that engage in biased practices and discrimination. 

“NCRC and our members have worked hard to document biased and discriminatory business practices in lending. Our mystery-shopper investigations consistently find differential treatment of White and non-White bank customer prospects with identical means and needs. The best way to combat and end these biases is through stringent and scrupulous enforcement of consumer protection laws, and it’s encouraging to see the CFPB re-asserting its role in that work. We applaud this effort to expand and revitalize the federal government’s work against financial discrimination.”

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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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