Politico: The New Front In The Battle Over Fair Lending

Politico, October 24, 2023, The New Front In The Battle Over Fair Lending

Banking regulators will unveil their final Community Reinvestment Act regulations on Tuesday, the culmination of a five-year effort to overhaul the way the landmark 1977 anti-redlining law is applied. Neither banks nor civil rights advocates are likely to be satisfied.

Fair-lending advocates, meanwhile, fear the final rule may scrap some of the racial-equity provisions of the proposal, which would require banks to disclose information about the race and ethnicity of their mortgage loan borrowers and applications in various assessment areas.

“I’m most worried that the agencies will have weakened their approach to addressing racial equity in the context of CRA,” said Jesse Van Tol, head of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “We understand why the regulators have made the decisions they have in terms of not making it more explicitly race based, given recent court challenges…but if we’re going to address redlining it may be limited in what it can do if it’s not explicitly race-conscious.

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