Will HMDA data carve-out for small banks make discrimination easier?

As critics of the Senate banking bill have rallied in recent weeks, an important argument has begun to gain traction: The legislation would make it easier for banks to discriminate.

Opponents have pointed to a provision that, at first glance, seems straightforward enough — a carve-out for small lenders from certain mortgage data reporting requirements.

But the debate around this measure is more complicated than many realize. Every policy change comes with both benefits and costs — and this particular fight highlights how difficult weighing those costs and benefits can really be, even when it comes to what can seem like a harmless tweak.

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