KQED News

New Rules Would Target Discrimination in Small-Business Lending

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WASHINGTON DC (September 28, 2017) excerpt from KQED NEWS - Banks could be forced to collect and report data on the small-business loans they approve and reject — including the ethnicity and gender of the business owners — under new rules being crafted by a federal consumer protection agency. Economists and regulators say the data could help identify whether lenders discriminate against minority- or women-owned businesses.

The new rules would aim to “facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws” as directed by Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Congress approved the major financial reform legislation in direct response to the last financial crisis.

Mortgage lenders already collect similar data, which help to “shed light on lending patterns that could be discriminatory,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency tasked with implementing the reporting changes on small-business lending.

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‘Fintech’ Loans: A Sometimes Costly Lifeline for Small Business

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RICHMOND, CA (September 12, 2017) excerpt via KQED News - Che Al-Barri remembers feeling like he was drowning in debt last year. He had taken out a $70,000 loan for his small cleaning company, but was struggling to repay it.

The lender, a financial technology — or fintech — company, automatically collected $331 from his bank account daily, Monday through Friday. The frequent hits depleted his income and took a toll on his business, he said.

“If you get hit every single day you have no time to breathe,” said Al-Barri, 45, who grew up in Richmond. “It put me up against the wall. There was many times I pulled the covers over my head and just laid there like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?'”

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