Circular
Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures
February 16, 1999
Circular No. 11137

To the Chief Consumer Compliance Officers of all State Member Banks in the Second Federal Reserve District:

The following is from a statement by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC):

The FFIEC has announced the release of core Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures, which establish a uniform set of procedures to be used by each of the FFIEC member agencies in their examinations for compliance with the broad, nondiscriminatory requirements of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act.

The core procedures have been adopted by each of the member agencies of the FFIEC - the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Federal Reserve System - and are intended to provide a basic and flexible framework Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Administration and the to be used for the majority of fair lending examinations. The procedures may be augmented by each agency, and agencies may provide their examiners and the specific institutions they regulate with additional procedures and details as needed to implement the core procedures effectively.

The Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures are the culmination of two years of effort by the FFIEC Consumer Compliance Task Force. They reflect a determination by the FFIEC member agencies that fair lending compliance examinations should be conducted using a risk-based approach that considers each institution's particular loan product mix, market demographics and past performance, as well as the nature and quality of data available from or about the institution.

The new core procedures are divided into four sections:

I. Examination Scope Guidelines;

II.Compliance Management Review;

III.Examination Procedures; and,

IV.Obtaining and Evaluating Responses from the Lender and Concluding the Examination.

The procedures provide increased interagency consistency, yet also provide extensive flexibility for examiners and managers to exercise judgment to tailor their analysis to meet the specific circumstances encountered in each examination.

The Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures and its Appendix are available as a  file.

Questions may be directed to Robert Otero, Supervising Examiner, Compliance Examinations Department.