GAO Reports on Equitable Loans, Access and Retirement Security

GAO reported on racial and income disparities in access to financial services and financial security in retirement.

Based on information gathered over a decade, GAO asserted that:

  • racial and income disparities exist in access to financial services and the availability of credit, particularly for (i) women and minority farmers seeking credit, compared to other agricultural enterprises and ( (ii) small minority-owned businesses seeking credit;
  • existing racial and income disparities in access to financial services correlate with increased retirement financial security challenges for minority and low-income households;
  • data limitations create challenges in the fair monitoring and enforcement of loans, especially in non-mortgage credit markets where lenders are prohibited from collecting data regarding personal characteristics, such as race and nationality;
  • regulations, including those relating to anti-money laundering, can increase burdens on financial institutions, which can have a negative impact on consumers’ access to financial services; and
  • FinTechs can provide solutions to support expanded access to credit, although the risks of lending discrimination in FinTechs are not yet fully understood.

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