View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 23, 1999


I am pleased that the Federal Reserve Board has acted on my Administration's request by voting this morning to propose, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, that lenders may choose to collect information about the race and gender of individuals applying for loans beyond home mortgages. This action is an important step to expand access to capital for all Americans. Allowing creditors to collect data for business and consumer loans will create greater innovation and increased access to credit, a higher level of voluntary compliance, and more effective fair lending enforcement.

Along with my Administration's reform of the Community Reinvestment Act regulations, enactment of the Community Development Financial Institutions legislation, and the proposed New Markets Initiative, today's historic action by the Federal Reserve Board will ensure that more Americans have access to capital. The record has shown that the Administration's Community Empowerment strategy is working in helping to revitalize our distressed inner city neighborhoods and rural communities by spurring more private investment, igniting the spark of entrepreneurship, and providing opportunity for more Americans.