The House Financial Services Committee released a report (Unsafe at Any Bureaucracy: CFPB Junk Science and Indirect Auto Lending) on November 24, 2015, that calls into question the statistical method utilized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to allege racial discrimination in auto lending. According to internal documents obtained by the House Committee, the statistical method is “prone to significant error,” which echoes what the auto retailing industry has been saying since the CFPB’s guidance was released in 2013.
The report states that the CFPB has pursued its enforcement strategy using “unfair, abusive and deceptive” tactics, and includes the internal CFPB documents the Committee obtained during its investigation of the CFPB campaign against vehicle finance companies.
The House Committee has also found that internal memos from senior Bureau officials warned CFPB Director Richard Cordray of the “weakness” of the controversial legal theory upon which the Bureau has built discrimination cases against auto lenders.
The full, 54-page report is available at http://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/11-24-15_cfpb_indirect_auto_staff_report.pdf.