Small biz lending data collection likely to add ‘substantial strain’

December 14, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) small business lending data collection under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act will likely create substantial compliance costs for credit unions, CUNA wrote to the CFPB Monday. The CFPB released an outline of potential proposal for small business lending data collection in September.

CUNA expressed support the goals of section 1071 and noted that credit unions seek to provide all members with fair and equitable financial opportunities.

“As community-based financial institutions, the section 1071 data collection will likely add substantial strain on credit unions’ finite compliance resources but provide an unknown tangible benefit,” the letter reads. “It is important for the Bureau to keep its rule as simple and tailored as possible to avoid creating unintended barriers for small business borrowers seeking credit while also ensuring community lenders can maintain the privacy of their members’ data.”

CUNA notes, that despite special commercial lending limitations, credit unions have a history of supporting businesses in distresses economic times, including last decade’s recession and the current pandemic.

Other highlights of the letter include:

  • CUNA, in addition to supporting an exemption for all credit unions, would also support the Bureau’s plan to provide exemptions for smaller lenders based on size and activity. CUNA calls on the Bureau to take a hybrid approach and adopt both a size-based exemption and an activity-based exemption;
  • The CFPB should limit its data set to data points that are statutorily required, and not add discretionary data points. The CFPB could revisit its data set in the future and build out additional data points should they be found to be necessary;
  • CUNA cautions the CFPB against aligning the annual reporting dates for section 1071 with the reporting dates for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, as for many mandatory reporters, complying both at the same time could strain finite compliance resources; 
  • CUNA noted privacy concerns about broad collection of financial data about consumers that could be used in ways not intended by the Dodd-Frank Act.