(Graphic by Karen Doyle for the hiscox.com blog)

Federal Financial Agency Now Requires Collection of LGBTQ Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued new guidelines on March 31 requiring the collection of LGBTQ identifying data to improve data collection on small business lending for LGBTQ-owned businesses.

The inclusion of this provision follows a February letter issued by U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) that urged CFPB Director Rohit Chopra to use his existing legal authority to include sexual orientation and gender identity as required data points for financial institutions to collect and report for the purpose of enforcing fair lending laws under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The provision allows the CFPB to more accurately monitor trends of discrimination and helps ensure the nation’s 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses are being treated fairly within the financial sector so that they can effectively compete, create opportunities, invest in employees, and uplift their communities.

According to a recent report, 35 percent of LGBTQ Americans reported that discrimination affected their financial well-being to a moderate or significant degree in the past year.

“This provision will help ensure that financial institutions meet the needs of the communities they serve and that LGBTQ-owned businesses do not face discrimination in our financial sector,” said Padilla. “As we work to build an economy that works for all, we must ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have equal access to capital.”

“I was delighted to see that the CFPB finalized a rule for self-reporting for LGBTQI+-owned businesses, which I have long pushed for through our LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act,” said Gillibrand. “This rule will allow for another necessary data point to enhance our federal fair lending laws, and I look forward to continuing to work with CFPB to ensure business lending remains fair for every American business.”

“From my days serving on the New York City Council to my time as the first openly gay Afro-Latino in Congress, I’ve been a staunch champion and fighter for creating a more equitable and more fair playing field for small businesses — particularly LGBTQI+ small businesses,” said Torres. “With more than one million LGBTQI+ businesses contributing nearly $2 trillion to the American economy, we have a vested interest in strengthening and sustaining their access to credit and increasing transparency in small business lending to help them grow and thrive without fear of discrimination. I’m proud to join my colleagues in helping to advance this new rule at the CFPB in service of inclusive growth and economic opportunity regardless of who you love or how you identify.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/