CUNA Regulatory Comment Call


August 18, 1999

Fed Proposal to Allow Lenders to Collect More Data on Borrowers
(REVISED VERSION)

(This Regulatory Comment Call is substantially similar to the one that was issued on June 25 regarding this proposed rule. There was a significant delay between the date the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued the rule and the date that it was published in the Federal Register. Fed staff indicated that the delay was due to the significant time that was needed to make necessary changes to the commentary and to make other necessary technical changes. Because of the time delay, this Regulatory Comment Call has been revised to provide the comment due date and to provide a link to the proposed rule. We also want to note that the Fed is requesting comments for other revisions to Regulation B that would facilitate compliance.)

On June 23, 1999, the Fed unanimously agreed to issue a proposed rule containing changes to Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The proposal would permit lenders to voluntarily collect more data on borrowers, including information on their race, religion, gender, and national origin. Comments on the proposal are due by November 10, 1999. Please submit your comments to CUNA by November 1 by fax at (202) 371-8240 or e-mail to CUNA's Assistant General Counsel Jeffrey Bloch at jbloch@cuna.com. You do not need to resend any comments that have already been sent in response to the Regulatory Comment Call issued on June 25. The rule may also be obtained from the Federal Register Website. When searching on this Website, please refer to the August 16, 1999 edition of the Federal Register.

BRIEF BACKGROUND

Currently, the ECOA prohibits lenders from making credit decisions on non-mortgage loans based on certain prohibited factors, such as the race, religion, gender, and national origin of the borrower. In March 1998, the Fed issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, which solicited input on the issue of whether lenders should be permitted to collect such information. The Fed received 330 comment letters and is now issuing a proposed rule that would permit such collections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSAL

Although the proposal would permit the voluntary collection of information regarding race, religion, gender, and national origin, borrowers would not be required to provide such information if they choose not to do so. The proposal would also require lenders to retain records on prescreened credit solicitations. These records would include the list of criteria used to select potential recipients, the solicitation used, the correspondence related to the solicitation, and the marketing plan to which the solicitation relates. Lenders would also be required to retain business credit records for 25 months, rather than the current 12 months.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER REGARDING THE FED'S REGULATION B PROPOSAL

Leagues and credit unions should feel free to fax their responses to CUNA at 202-371-8240; e-mail them to Jeffrey Bloch at jbloch@cuna.com or mail them to CUNA's Regulatory Advocacy Department, Suite 300, 805 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Thank you!!

Eric Richard • General Counsel • (202) 508-6742 • erichard@cuna.com
Mary Mitchell Dunn • SVP & Associate General Counsel • (202) 508-6736 • mdunn@cuna.com
Jeffrey Bloch • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6732 • jbloch@cuna.com
Catherine Orr • Senior Regulatory Counsel • (202) 508-6743 • corr@cuna.com