Since July 2010, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made significant waves in the auto finance space. In 2013, they issued their bulletin titled “Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Opportunity Act” stating that they would regulate lenders on unanticipated discriminatory practices. With very little guidance on how to be compliant, lenders and dealers scrambled to revamp their anti-discrimination practices to little avail.
Between 2013 and 2016, the CFPB filed 13 enforcement actions totaling upwards of $165.17 million against auto financiers, such as:
- Toyota Motor Credit Corporation
- Fifth Third Bank
- American Honda Finance Corporation
- Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
- JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
- DriveTime Automotive Group
- First Investors Financial Services Group
Beyond the restitution and civil penalties leveraged against lenders, the increased compliance oversight also had direct impact on dealer profit margins, consumer prices, and the national GDP.
According to a 2014 study of the auto finance regulatory environment by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), regulations pertaining to employment, accounting and vehicle financing made up more than 63 percent of all estimated federal regulatory compliance costs. The administration of vehicle financing alone accounted for 71 percent of all vehicle finance compliance costs and 26 percent of total dealership compliance costs. Continue reading