WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward M. Gramlich on Friday said that to better combat abusive lending practices, regulators may need to go beyond recently proposed changes in existing law.

“Other steps may need to be taken, and may be taken, to deal with predatory lending,” he said in a speech at Cleveland State University.

The Fed has proposed increasing the number of loans subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act and expanding reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Mr. Gramlich called the two proposals “important first steps.”

Industry groups and some lawmakers have criticized moves to rein in abusive lending before the practice is legally defined.

However, the “term ‘predatory lending,’ much like the terms ‘safety and soundness’ and ‘unfair and deceptive practices,’ is far-reaching and covers a potentially broad range of behavior,” Mr. Gramlich said. “As such, it does not lend itself to a concise or comprehensive definition.”

Predatory lending “typically” involves practices including asset-based lending, loan flipping, and concealing the true nature of the loan, he said.

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