NAFCU Journal January February 2022

44 THE NAFCU JOURNAL January–February 2022 If you are a fan of our Compliance Blog, you may have seen a recent post about federal regulators taking action against banks for alleged redlining practices. This complaint made various allegations regarding issues found as a result of a bank’s physical branch locations and the locations of its mortgage loan officers, as well as inadequate fair lending policies and internal controls. This particular case prompted a Consent Order which provided for a $4 million civil money penalty. In general, increased scrutiny of redlining and fair lending was expected after the new administration took office and leadership of the various agencies responsible for fair lending enforcement changed hands. In October 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a joint initiative to combat redlining in the same press release that announced the settlement between the agencies and the bank referenced above. The joint statement reports that redlining is as much, if not more, of an issue now than it was prior to the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and quotes Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, stating that “enforcement of our fair lending laws is critical to ensure that banks and lenders are providing communities of color equal access to lending opportunities.” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland also declared that “. . . we are committing ourselves to addressing modern-day redlining by making far more robust use of our fair lending COMPLIANCE CENTRAL THE FUTURE OF FAIR LENDING AND REDLINING ENFORCEMENT By Rebecca Tetreau