ICBA Statement on Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Disparate-Impact Theory

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Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released this statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s split 5-4 decision upholding the disparate-impact theory of liability.

Community banks are fully committed to fair lending and strongly oppose discrimination prohibited under laws such as the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released this statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s split 5-4 decision upholding the disparate-impact theory of liability.

“ICBA disagrees with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act upholding the disparate-impact theory of liability. However, we appreciate that the high court limited the application of the theory and directed courts to act promptly and ‘examine with care’ plaintiff cases. The majority opinion made clear that a disparate-impact case cannot rely on statistics alone and that the accuser must also cite the specific policy that causes the disparate result.

“Community banks are fully committed to fair lending and strongly oppose discrimination prohibited under laws such as the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Community banks have strong compliance systems to monitor the issuing of credit and distribution of credit to protected classes.

“While the decision may thwart certain frivolous claims, the disparate-impact approach will promote litigation that would itself cause reputational damage, serious business disruption, and extraordinary financial expense—even when a lender eventually prevails. ICBA has long disputed the legality of the disparate-impact theory and will work with Congress to advance legislation to ensure federal laws truly support fair and equitable mortgage lending.”

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.
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Aleis Stokes
Independent Community Bankers of America
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