Regulators Promise Crackdown on Mistakes in HMDA Reports
Henry, Shannon, American Banker
WASHINGTON -- Regulators vowed Wednesday to crack down on banks that make mistakes in their Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports.
"We are finding lots of erros in exams when we go in," said Griffith L. Garwood, director of consumer and community affairs at the Federal Reserve.
"It is clear we need to get tougher with those institutions that are filing poor data," he added in a speech to the American Bankers Association's National Regulatory Compliance Conference.
Mr. Garwood admitted that some of the problem may be with unclear regulations. He said the central bank is trying to clarify its rules and will issue a staff commentary on the issue this summer.
From Warnings to Fines
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said penalties could range from a warning to hefty civil money penalties.
Besides facing supervisory action, banks that file faulty data will find themselves in longer exams, Mr. Garwood said. He encouraged the audience to use computer software to screen out errors.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could be filing some referrals to the Justice Department on this issue by fall, according to Janice Smith, director of consumer affairs at the agency.
She said the agency is finding many inaccuracies in HMDA data through "HMDA DIP" - for "disparity investigative project - a program it began at the beginning of the year.
Ms. Smith also said the FDIC is close to going to print on selftesting guidelines. …