CFPB leader pledges ‘great care, consideration’ in developing minority/women small business data collection rule

Rules that require financial institutions to gather and report information about credit applications from minority and women-owned businesses “will be done with great care and consideration,” keeping in mind “sensitivities” expressed by some in small business, the director of the federal consumer financial protection agency said Wednesday.

In opening remarks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) symposium on Section 1071 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger acknowledged that the section would increase public data about small business lending.

“Congress wanted the bureau, and the public generally to better understand the landscape for all small businesses, and specifically those owned and operated by women and minorities,” she said. “And the law specifically directs the bureau to develop a rule for the collection, reporting, and publication of certain data.”

She told the audience at the event – made up of small business representatives and others – that “we know the data collection rule is something that has been on a lot of your minds for some time now.”

Kraninger said feedback from “various stakeholders” has informed the bureau that “there is concern with the burden to small entities, possible curtailment of credit, and privacy considerations, as well as a general desire for consistency with current business practices.”

She said the agency understands the “sensitivities” and that the bureau knows “that a rule needs to be done with great care and consideration in order that the rule not impede the ability of small businesses – including minority and women owned small businesses – to access the credit they need.”

She said the symposium was an opportunity for the bureau to gather input as it develops its implementing regulations.

Director Kraninger’s Speech at CFPB Symposium on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act