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Gate House Chairman Brian Montgomery weighs in on the regulatory landscape with respect to fair lending and the need for financial service executives to be proactive

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Gate House Partner and Chairman Brian Montgomery shared his perspective on the regulatory landscape facing executives in the financial service industry — the need to act responsibly with respect to fair lending laws and to understand the complexity of it all – in a piece for Housing Wire.

“[M]ultiple agencies pursuing the same general goals sometimes creates inconsistencies or conflicting interpretations of policy, making it difficult for financial institutions to navigate uncharted waters, even with the best of intentions.” Montgomery wrote.

Montgomery, who served as Deputy Secretary of HUD and FHA Commissioner twice, emphasized the risks, particularly in the areas of lending and loan servicing: “Recent regulatory actions have targeted marketing practices, credit allocation and product offerings,” he said, with top executives more often being held accountable for their “company policies, procedures, operations, and culture.”

With risk to the firm not only financially but reputationally, the need to “identify gaps that may exist in their knowledge and experience and structure management teams accordingly” is paramount if they are to demonstrate to overseers that they possess a comprehensive approach to their compliance obligations.

Private industry participants have their work cut out for them as they go about the critical work of upholding the letter and spirit of our country’s fair lending laws, Montgomery said. Both private firms and government must work together at times, with private industry willing to serve as partners to government and the government for their part providing “transparency, open dialogue and technology improvements” to make our system work.