CHICAGO (March 26, 2015) – To help nonbank consumer lenders identify and mitigate possible fair lending risk factors, Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S., has introduced the Crowe Fair Lending Analytical and Regression Engine (FLARE) solution.
Nonbank lenders, such as those providing consumer loans in the automotive, mortgage and insurance industries, are at an increased risk of enforcement action with the emergence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity. Although the underlying regulations have been in place for decades, the CFPB and U.S. Department of Justice are extending their focus beyond financial institutions to cover more consumer lending companies.
In order to comply with the fair lending guidelines, companies often are asked to provide more data to regulators. Crowe FLARE performs advanced statistical analysis of lending data to identify possible risk factors or inequities relating to loan applicants’ characteristics, which include race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography and economic indicators. Using the solution, Crowe professionals generate a risk assessment, interpret potential risk impact and provide management with a recommendation for next steps.
“This tool quickly identifies certain risks in an organization’s loan portfolio. I like to think of it as preventative medicine,” said Paul Osborne, a partner in Crowe Risk Consulting Services. “Chief compliance officers and others responsible for this area would much rather know what their risks are before the regulators ask questions.”
Lending organizations’ policies and procedures vary greatly depending on their type of business. To address these differences, Crowe FLARE was constructed as a dynamic platform that can be modified to address the specific concerns facing an organization. According to Osborne, the fair-lending analysis can be easily integrated into a company’s existing compliance framework.
Crowe FLARE allows consumer lending companies to:
- Perform advanced statistical analysis of loan application and underwriting data;
- Save time by eliminating manual calculations;
- Analyze complexities beyond the standard Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data set;
- Access the easy-to-use interface via the Web or smart devices;
- Use dashboards to view activity at the institutional, regional, dealer, loan and individual applicant level;
- Provide compliance teams with clear and easy-to-understand charts of their companies’ fair lending data analytics;
- Customize the platform and monitoring dashboards based on a company’s specifications; and
- Maintain third-party fair lending data, such as training records and loan file support.
For more information on Crowe FLARE and all of Crowe’s fair lending compliance services, visit www.crowehorwath.com/flare-nr.
About Crowe Horwath
Crowe Horwath LLP (www.crowehorwath.com) is one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the United States. Under its core purpose of “Building Value with Values®,” Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities, while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. Crowe and its subsidiaries have offices coast to coast with more than 3,000 personnel. The firm is recognized by many organizations as one of the country's best places to work. Crowe serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, consisting of more than 150 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 100 countries around the world.