CFPB data collection rule could exempt smallest small-business lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally detailed what small-business lending data it may require under the Dodd-Frank Act, but the agency also appears willing to relieve certain lenders from the reporting requirements.

The CFPB said in a 79-page outline released Tuesday that it is considering whether to exempt lenders with under $100 million or $200 million of assets out of concern that some entities “might reduce or cease their small business lending activity because of the fixed costs of” compliance. To implement Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank, the agency is also considering exempting institutions that make few small-business loans.

The data requirements — similar to reporting obligations applicable to mortgage lenders — are designed to assess small businesses’ credit needs and whether borrowers experience lending discrimination.

Banks have largely resisted collecting data on women-and minority-owned small businesses by claiming it requires too much paperwork and is a regulatory burden. But experts

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