Investigation Clears Goldman Sachs of Apple Card Gender Bias

Goldman Sachs has been cleared of gender bias and discriminatory lending decisions related to Apple Card, according to the findings of New York’s financial regulator (via Bloomberg).

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Goldman Sachs did not use discriminatory practices when deciding whether to extend credit to prospective ‌Apple Card‌ customers, the New York State Department of Financial Services has said. It also found no evidence that the lender’s credit decisions had a disproportionate impact on certain groups of people.

‌Apple Card‌ came under fire for alleged gender discrimination in the months after its launch, with some customers complaining on Twitter that women were granted lower credit limits than men.

This triggered an investigation into ‌Apple Card‌’s algorithms for determining credit limits in November 2019. The investigation, which included an analysis of the underwriting data for almost 400,000 New York applicants for ‌Apple Card‌, found no violations of fair lending laws. In a statement, Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said:

While we found no fair lending violations, our inquiry stands as a reminder of disparities in access to credit that continue nearly 50 years after the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This is one part of a broader discussion we must have about equal credit access.

Nevertheless, Goldman Sachs was criticized for shortcomings in customer service and a perceived lack of transparency that undermined consumer trust, with the report saying that these problems “might have been prevented by better management” of ‌Apple Card‌’s rollout.

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