Senate Dems call on CFPB to write small-business loan reporting rule

Senate Democrats are calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to expedite an agency rulemaking that would force financial institutions to collect and report data on lending to small, minority- and women-owned business.

In a letter to CFPB on Friday led by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), lawmakers said the lack of public data makes it difficult to gauge whether fair lending laws are being enforced.

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“While entrepreneurship can open the door to achieve the American Dream, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to get their business started,” said the letter, which was signed by 19 senators including Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers MORE (D-Mass.). “Access to capital is often limited to underserved and underrepresented communities – the same communities that disproportionately ensure financial hardship and lack broader access to opportunities.”

The rule that the CFPB is being asked to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In an April report, the CFPB said it’s considering how the bureau might work with other agencies to, in part, gain insight into existing small-business data collection efforts and possible ways to cooperate in future efforts. 

The lawmakers said current data collection efforts are fragmentary and provide an incomplete picture of lending in the small-business marketplace.

“Section 1071 mandates the CFPB to centralize this data collection to make it easier for financial institutions to report it and the general public to use it,” their letter said.