Convinced that not enough is being done to assure fair lending practices, regulators are putting the finishing touches on uniform exam procedures intended to gauge compliance with such rules.
"You have all the allegations that have been made and the feeling is that all the procedures we have in place just aren't doing it, so we have to provide more specific guidance, and that's what we're trying to do'" said Janice Smith, director of the office of consumer affairs at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The procedures will be based in part on a study conducted for the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, the umbrella group Comprising the five bank, thrift and credit union regulatories agencies. The report recommends "uniform examination procedures that can be used by all of the agencies and for examiner training curricula."
No document is completed yet, but Smith said a contractor familiar with the project indicated the agencies are looking for ways to incorporate comments from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC into what is otherwise a "pretty final draft."
Stricter enforcement of fair lending practices is an increasingly important issue to the Clinton administration. This is evidenced by an OCC/Department of Housing and Urban Development joint working group that is working up a lending discrimination policy statement that will be used to guide banks, courts and fair housing groups. that statement is expected to be completed in early 1994.