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You know, when America’s big banks really think about it, they’re doing a bang-up job of providing financial services of all sorts to all sorts, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation and whatever else the woke kids think qualify as protected classes these days. Totally and utterly colorblind. To suggest otherwise, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done by proposing to look into those matters during routine examination, is an insult. Totally unnecessary, given just how remarkable non-discriminatory the banks are in areas where they are officially prohibited from being discriminatory. An outrage, now that they think of it! A disgrace! One that they simply cannot let pass, even if they’d of course pass this new section of the exam with flying colors! Their honor has been so sullied by the slander that they must be publicly seen to oppose the idea that they should be tested on their pledges of non-discrimination. Quick, men (still mostly men, anyway) of good heart and character, to the courthouse!

A powerful alliance of bank trade groups sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its director, Rohit Chopra, in federal court in Texas, claiming Mr. Chopra is abusing his power by forcing banks to submit to regular tests of how their treatment of customers may inadvertently disadvantage certain groups, including racial minorities. The suit argues that the law Mr. Chopra is using to do so was devised only to ensure lenders are treating customers with transparency and fairness.

Yes, and to do this Chopra and co. have the temerity to insist on more transparency!

The law was not supposed to cover discrimination, they say, and the newly added categories are raising the costs of complying with it by forcing banks to document in new ways the effects their products are having on different groups and, in some cases, pay for lawyers to deal with C.F.P.B. officials asking questions about their products…. On top of that, the groups say, Mr. Chopra made the change without first proposing it publicly and listening to feedback, as is the norm. He simply updated the examination manual that banks and their regulators use as a rubric for assessing their compliance with the law.

For shame. And, of course, the CFPB now knows the price of too much transparency, for had it not decided to give those banks a head’s up on what it would be looking into, they’d have no cause to sue it.

Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for the bureau, said in an email that it “is one of the most transparent regulatory agencies, and voluntarily publishes exam manuals laying out how it will assess banks’ compliance with the federal laws Congress charged the bureau with enforcing.”

Banks Accuse Consumer Regulator of Abuse of Power [NYT]
Business Groups Sue CFPB Over Antidiscrimination Guidelines [WSJ]

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