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Coleman C-Suite Small Business Lending Report — Online Small Biz Lenders Float Self-Regulation Proposals

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May 21, 2015

by Lisa McGreevy
Conference Chair, Lend360

Last week, the American Banker had an extensive story on the possible regulatory headwinds coming to the “alternative” lending space. This article follows on the several others that the American Banker has been writing of late. This is just one more example of what is growing recognition of the coming scrutiny. Congress continues to be interested in this industry, and I will be meeting with the House Small Business Committee in early June as a follow up to the hearing.

The industry has an incredible opportunity to enact self-regulation and thereby keep Congress and the regulators from implementing regulation that you will not want. During the hearing, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), suggested that self-regulation was preferable to Congress getting involved.

Below is the current draft of the business principles that many of you have participated in formulating. Please let me know your thoughts. The goal is to announce these at LEND36O in October.

I would be happy to discuss your thoughts and ideas.

Draft Small Business Best Practices – Overarching Guidelines

1. Fully disclose all fees and key transaction terms in a transparent and easy-to-understand way.

2. Maintain good standing with the officials and regulatory bodies that govern you.

3. Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

4. Engage in business with all customers without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status,or any other protected class.

5. Avoid unfair, deceptive or unconscionable acts and practices.

6. Protect each customer’s personal data.

7. Process customer payments consistent with NACHA Operating Rules and credit card processing association rules and regulations.

8. Always treat customers with respect and engage in fair lawful and professional collection practices.

9. Manage third-party service providers to follow these best practices guidelines.

Lisa can be reached at lmcgreevy@lend360.org

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