The U.S. House of Representatives recently advanced legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to address racial equity in mortgages, lending, and investments.
The Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act (H.R. 2543) requires banks, corporations, and financial institutions to be accountable for denying millions access to capital.
“This indeed was history in the making, this legislation will change the lives of millions,” Waters, chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, said via a statement regarding House action. “Too often, we have seen families denied mortgages, loans, and rules by government agencies that were established to ensure fairness and equity in financial services. The lack of fairness in lending has prevented communities of color from homeownership, small business development, fair pricing, and protection by the government.
As banks close in small towns and cities across this country, low-income communities and communities of color are cut off from access to capital.”
Waters noted that two years ago, banks and corporations issued pledges promising diversity capital to promote equity in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. However, she acknowledged that many of the pledges remain unfulfilled.
“As the Chair of Financial Services Committee, I took on the leadership responsibility to correct discrimination and exclusion of so many communities that have been left out of financial services,” Waters concluded. “This bill will not only correct these problems but will go a long way in strengthening the economy because of the talent and energy of so many people of color who are eager to participate. I look forward to working with the Senate and the other side of the aisle to support this long-overdue legislation and send it to the President’s desk for signature in order to achieve fairness, equity, and support for those who have been traditionally left out.”