Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) established critical credit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people announcing a new policy interpreting the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s (ECOA) ban on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity. CFPB’s new guidance prohibits financial institutions like banks, credit card companies, credit unions, and finance companies from engaging in discrimination on the basis of gender‑identity and sexual orientation.
Currently only nine states and the District of Columbia have laws in place prohibiting anti‑LGBTQ credit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender‑identity. The Equality Act, introduced in July 2015, would put an end to this patchwork by providing comprehensive federal protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity across key areas of life including credit by amending ECOA.
CFPB’s statement today is a critical step towards ensuring that LGBTQ people are fully protected under the ECOA. Equal access to credit is a cornerstone for building financial stability and success. We applaud CFPB for recognizing the scope of sex discrimination protections under ECOA and following the clear trajectory modeled by the EEOC and federal courts for years.