House Financial Services Committee Cites AFSA Study in Report Critical of CFPB Methodology for Alleging Discrimination

Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, today issued a report critical of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) use of the “disparate impact doctrine” to find alleged discrimination in vehicle financing.

The findings of the report, published by the Republican Staff of the House Committee, clearly show that the Bureau’s methodology to determine disparate impact and potential harm to protected classes is flawed and prone to overestimation. Further, the federal agency was aware of apparent discrepancies yet pushed forward with claims of discrimination, which resulted in enforcement actions forcing companies to pay millions of dollars in fines and penalties.

The committee staff report cites the American Financial Services Association (AFSA)-commissioned survey conducted by Charles River Associates (CRA) which was published a year ago. The CRA study examined more than 8.2 million vehicle finance contracts and concluded that the disparity alleged by the CFPB between interest rates charged to minorities and non-minorities is not supported by the data.

AFSA President and CEO Chris Stinebert noted that alleged pricing discrepancies between minorities and non-minorities for auto financing rates are simply not supported by data in the CRA study. “AFSA is hopeful that this new information in the committee report will help bring a reasonable resolution to this important issue,” Stinebert said. “Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, and financing cars and trucks through the dealer remains the most convenient and cost effective way to purchase a vehicle.”

AFSA released a press statement on this subject on November 24, 2015.