Brief of Amici Curiae submitted by California Reinvestment Coalition, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, Center for Responsible Lending, Texas Appleseed, and National Consumer Law Center in support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Partial Summary Judgement.
In March 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) clarified in its Supervision and Examination Manual that discriminatory behavior by financial service providers may be unfair under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Although Plaintiffs claim that the sky is falling, there is no reason to panic. Recognizing that
discrimination in consumer financial products or services—particularly, discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, and other personal factors irrelevant to a financial transaction—may be “unfair” is hardly unprecedented. To the contrary, ample evidence shows that discrimination in the financial services industry persists and may be “unfair” in every sense of the word—including, most importantly, the explicit statutory test Congress established to guide the CFPB in determining whether a practice is “unfair.”
As advocates for communities of color and low-income communities in the banking and business sectors, Amici know all too well the extent of discrimination in consumer finance and its negative effects on individuals, businesses, and the economy. Amici submit this brief to underscore the substantial evidence of discriminatory practices in the consumer finance industry and to explain how such discrimination may be “unfair” under the relevant statutory definition.
Section I of this brief sets forth the evidence that discrimination in the financial services industry persists. Section II establishes that discriminatory practices may meet the statutory criteria of “unfairness.”