FTC has sent its annual letter to the CFPB reporting on the FTC’s activities related to compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B.

The FTC has authority to enforce the ECOA and Reg. B as to nonbank providers within its jurisdiction.  However, like several of the FTC’s prior letters on its ECOA activities, the letter on 2019 activities does not describe any 2019 FTC ECOA enforcement activity and only contains information about the FTC’s research and policy development efforts and educational initiatives.

With respect to research and policy development, the initiatives described in the letter include the following:

  • Forum on small business financing to examine trends and consumer protection issues in this marketplace, which included a discussion of the ECOA’s applicability to small business loans.
  • Hearing on the FTC’s approach to consumer privacy, which included a discussion of the use of big data in automated decision making and how the ECOA should inform the use of data collected from consumers.
  • Workshop on accuracy in consumer reporting co-hosted with the CFPB to discuss issues affecting the accuracy of traditional credit reports and employment and tenant background screening.
  • The FTC’s Military Task Force continued to work on military consumer protection issues.
  • The FTC continues to be a member of the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending along with the CFPB, DOJ, HUD, and the federal banking agencies.

With regard to the FTC’s consumer and business educational initiatives, the FTC states that in 2019, it “conducted efforts to provide education on important issues, including those related to credit transactions to which Regulation B applies or relates.”  By way of example, the FTC references blog posts about its small business forums.