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The CFPB’s 2021 Fair Lending Annual Report to Congress

Today, the CFPB released its annual Fair Lending Report to Congress , detailing the important fair lending work undertaken in 2021, which focused on racial and economic equity issues and the COVID-19 recovery.

Throughout 2021, the CFPB worked to ensure that individuals, small businesses, and communities had fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit. We carried out this work in accordance with our Congressional mandate through supervision and enforcement actions, research and market monitoring activities, rulemaking and guidance, amicus activity, and consumer education.

Most importantly, the CFPB is looking ahead to the future of financial services markets, which will be increasingly shaped by predictive analytics, algorithms, and machine learning. While technology holds great promise, it can also reinforce historical biases that have excluded too many Americans from opportunities.

In particular, the CFPB will be sharpening its focus on digital redlining and algorithmic bias. As more technology platforms, including Big Tech firms, influence the financial services marketplace, the CFPB will be working to identify emerging risks and to develop appropriate policy responses. In addition to focusing on specific financial products and services, the CFPB will also be analyzing how unfair and discriminatory practices harm specific population segments.

The agency will also continue its cooperation with other regulators and law enforcement agencies with responsibilities to ensure fair lending and equal opportunity. For example, yesterday, federal banking regulators proposed updates to the framework for assessing chartered banks for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. This development has the potential to increase opportunities for Americans who have been historically excluded or left behind, including those in rural communities.

The CFPB is committed to protecting individuals, small businesses, and communities from discrimination, holding institutional and individual bad actors accountable, and ensuring robust and comprehensive remedies for violations of the laws under our jurisdiction.

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