In her column of Feb. 13 on CRA, Sarah Cooke made an assertion that I think many in our industry would find troubling. In discussing the industry’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and addressing the disparity between white and minority loan approval rates, she noted that the data show that a greater percentage of white applicants are approved than minority applicants. While correctly suggesting that some demographic and field-of-membership factors are at play, she unfortunately concluded with an unsubstantiated statement that “part of the difference is plain old discrimination.”

Discrimination is a serious accusation to level at any group, but particularly the credit union industry. Nowhere in her column does she cite a study or finding to support this charge. I think most in the credit union community, many of whom have aggressively reached out to underserved areas, would find such a statement disconcerting, to say the least.

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