CFPB Finalizes Rule to Create a New Data Set on Small Business … – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Rule will fulfill congressional mandate and shine light on key engine of American economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finalized a rule required by Congress to increase transparency in small business lending, promote economic development, and combat unlawful discrimination. Lenders will collect and report information about the small business credit applications they receive, including geographic and demographic data, lending decisions, and the price of credit. The rule will work in concert with the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires certain financial institutions to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The increased transparency will benefit small businesses, family farms, financial institutions, and the broader economy.
“Many local businesses were shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic after they struggled to obtain credit under the Paycheck Protection Program,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “This small business loan census will give the public key data on this market to ensure that banks and nonbanks are serving small businesses fairly.”
The nation’s 33 million small businesses employ nearly half of all private sector workers in the U.S. and account for the majority of new job creation. Operators of small and local businesses finance their enterprises through a variety of sources, including loans from banks, credit unions, and nonbank finance companies. Many of these businesses have a relationship with a local financial institution to help grow their business.
However, there is currently limited data on small business entrepreneurs’ access to credit, and no comprehensive information available about small business lending. For decades, the government has assembled data pursuant to Congressional mandates on residential mortgages. Now, for the first time, data on small business lending will give investors and lenders more insights to identify new opportunities that support economic growth, help policymakers measure the effectiveness of any government programs, and provide a data-driven approach to detect potential discrimination.
The pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program, for example, would have benefited from the kind of small business lending data that will be captured by this rule. Such data could have led to better targeted, more effective lending during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The rule finalized today will:
In 2010, Congress enacted requirements that would result in lenders making data available to the public about their small business lending activity in Section 1071 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. However, the CFPB did not issue rules to implement this requirement. The California Reinvestment Coalition sued the CFPB in 2019, leading to a court order requiring the CFPB to finalize the rule by March 31, 2023.
The CFPB has undertaken significant planning to simplify implementation and prepare for the submission of data from thousands of lenders. While many of these lenders already report mortgage data, the CFPB recognizes that small business lending has a number of key differences. After considering a wide range of feedback and thousands of public comments, the CFPB is finalizing the rule and planning for implementation in ways that will:
To emphasize financial institutions’ obligations to collect this important data, the CFPB is also issuing a policy statement noting that it intends to focus its supervisory and enforcement activities in connection with the new rule on ensuring that lenders do not discourage small business loan applicants from providing responsive data, including responses to the requests to provide demographic information about their ownership.
Read today’s final rule.
Read a fact sheet about the rule.
Read an executive summary of the final rule.
Read the enforcement policy statement.
The CFPB is providing many plain language resources to help lenders prepare to comply with the rule. Additional technical resources, such as an online filing instructions guide, are intended to facilitate data collection and reporting. These webpages will be updated to include additional resources in the coming months, and lenders may sign up to receive updates and ask technical and compliance questions about the final rule by emailing SBLHelp@cfpb.gov.
Visit our Small Business landing page to explore the CFPB’s work on behalf of small businesses.
View additional materials related to the CFPB’s small business lending rulemaking.
Consumers can submit complaints about financial products or services by visiting the CFPB’s website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.
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