Key Takeaway

Account screening CRAs are deeply flawed, and are ripe for self-reform, regulation, or both.

The CFE Fund and the National Consumer Law Center co-wrote this report, outlining the tremendous and deeply flawed role that account screening consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) play in determining whether consumers can obtain a bank or credit union account. The report raises concerns about these companies and financial institutions’ use of their reports, and offers solutions both for industry leaders and regulators.

Additional Takeaways

Accuracy, consistency, proportionality, transparency and error resolution are of concern for most financial institutions’ CRA policies.

CRAs need consistent definitions and reporting guidelines, meaningful investigations, and transparent usage standards.

Financial institutions should limit account denials to consumers with actual fraud histories, or guide them to non-overdraft accounts.

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