Race and Banking

The Federal Reserve’s misguided attempt to revise Regulation B is going to be considered very soon, likely tomorrow. This 1999 proposal would “allow” financial institutions to collect information about the “race”, color, religion, national origin and sex of applicants for credit. The creditor would continue to be prohibited from using the information in making the credit decision.

Contrary to what the Fed says, this proposal isn’t about allowing financial institutions the right to collect this type of demographic data, currently prohibited by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This proposal is about preparing them for mandatory collection of the data. If you’ve been around the legislative and regulatory arena for any length of time you know that anything the government makes voluntary will eventually be mandatory.

I am revising a letter I sent in 1999 in response to this horrible proposal and will post the finished product tomorrow.

The text of this proposal is available here. (pdf)

Copies of several letters on this topic, sent by Members of Congress, trade associations and other groups can be found here.

Eric Froeming recently commented on mandatory “racial” data collection on mortgage applicants. The proposal to change Regulation B would eventually extend that practice to all types of loans.

For those who wish to send their own letters in opposition to this ridiculous proposal, send them to:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20551

Re: Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 64 FR 44582 (August 16, 1999) Docket No. R-1008

Send me a copy of your letter via email and I’ll post it at The Multiracial Activist. While the comment period is over and the Fed has most likely made up it’s mind to implement the proposal or some part of it, it’s not too late to go on the record against this shameful proposal.

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