NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Fed Proposes Collecting Racial Information On Loan Applicants

November 5, 1999

A 1974 Federal Reserve regulation bars banks from asking borrowers about race, gender or nationality. But now the Fed, with support of the White House and civil rights groups, has proposed to change that rule.

  • The White House argues that banks should collect such data to detect patterns of bias.
  • Changing the rule will "allow us to monitor the progress we are making," writes Union Bank of California.
  • But leading bank trade groups will file a protest next week arguing against the change, and House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) says the proposal "flies in the face of our efforts to create a more 'colorblind' society."

The Fed says it still could pull back on the proposal after considering public comments.

Source: Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal, November 5, 1999.


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