A lengthy declination letter: What happens when a regulator conducts an investigation and finds no wrongdoing? For its fair lending inquiry of Goldman Sachs co-branded credit card, the Apple Card, NYDFS issued a report on March 23, 2021 that resembles a lengthy declination letter. The report makes clear after “exhaustive review of documentation and data” NYDFS failed to uncover “evidence of deliberate or disparate impact discrimination.” Other notes:
– The investigation commenced following a viral Tweet from a tech entrepreneur alleging his wife received less favorable terms under the Apple Card.
– Tweets and other social media are increasingly visible sources for investigations (worthy or not)
– NYDFS undertook a massive statistical analysis as part of its investigation, finding no wrongdoing
– Goldman Sachs offered strong cooperation and a consumer-oriented program to assist people with inadequate credit ratings to improve their credit, a program it called “Path to Apple Card”
– 70,000 consumers enrolled in “Path to Apple Card” and about 5,000 of them have been approved for an Apple Card
– The report contains valuable guidance on the agency’s current thinking on fair lending
The report is here: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/reports_and_publications/press_releases/pr202103231