Several prospective customers recently shared specific things with me that they wish their fair lending software could do. They contacted me to set up a time to discuss their concerns and learn about ComplianceTech’s web-based suite of software for HMDA, CRA, and fair lending analysis.
Since many voiced the same concerns, I thought it would be helpful to share them so that others can commiserate. Misery loves company! But seriously, if you can relate to these Compliance Officers, then it is time to act and learn about better options. Why settle for underperforming products when you can access the best-in-class products at competitive pricing? Below are the concerns compliance officers recently described to me:
1) Software provider has not lived up to promises to deliver a comprehensive fair lending software solution able to evaluate the fair lending risk for all types of lending products.
This is unfortunate because banks and credit unions often need a tool that easily analyzes both mortgage (HMDA) and non-mortgage (auto and consumer) loans. Vendors who do not offer a comprehensive tool to analyze all loans will fall short and not meet the minimum requirements of a lender. In one instance, a prospective customer told me they have been working for the past eight months to produce meaningful reports in their current tool with no success.
2) Training is not conducted by fair lending experts.
Clearly, automated fair lending software tools can make fair lending analysis easier, but training needs to be conducted by industry experts. Unfortunately, prospective customers shared that their current vendor offers “point and click” training without explaining the reports. Vendors must be evaluated for the quality of the training provided. Given the complexity of identifying and monitoring fair lending risk for an institution, it is reasonable to expect a vendor to provide lender-specific training (not generic/canned) and explain and interpret results.
3) Online help is not easily accessible.
Following up on the statement above about knowledgeable trainers, fair lending software should allow users to access a library of help topics and videos easily.
4) Vendor does not provide timely updates/fixes for technical bugs.
Prospective customers should ask vendors how long it takes to update their software if an issue is reported, especially when it may impact the accuracy of analyses. It is reasonable to expect the software vendor to fix glitches and install updates promptly. In most cases, any timeframe longer than a day or two is unreasonable.
5) Mapping is difficult, and maps do not display key metrics for senior management decision-making.
It is important to ask a vendor about their mapping integration. Mapping tools should be flexible and customizable to display CRA AAs, REMAs, branch placement, lending activity using various demographic layers, peer results, street view details, etc.
6) Add-on charges for extra modules/features within a software.
Be sure to ask vendors about additional charges related to software subscriptions. For example, are additional charges incurred based on the number of loans geocoded, or is there a cost per state for geocoding? Avoid vendors with hidden charges or lots of add-on fees. ComplianceTech’s HMDA Ready includes multi-pass geocoding with FFIEC geocode verification.
7) Inability to create robust custom peer groups based on the institution’s financial profile and business model characteristics.
Ideally, mortgage lenders should be able to easily create various peer groups for any geography based on a combination of institutional and business model characteristics. These custom peer groups allow lenders to conduct meaningful peer benchmarking. Comparing apples to oranges is not recommended and could lead to erroneous fair lending conclusions.
ComplianceTech is a leading provider of HMDA, CRA, and fair lending software that is trusted by lenders, federal and state banking examiners, and community housing groups. Our ComplianceTech Product Suite™ contains HMDA Ready™, CRA Check™, LendingPatterns™, Fair Lending Magic™, and Fair Servicing™.
We have helped institutions of all sizes uncover opportunities, minimize risk and simplify compliance, and our passion and expertise in data analysis are renowned. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a customized demo of our fair lending software.