OCC’s Hsu: Addressing Appraisal Bias Requires ‘Collective Effort’

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu told attendees at a CFPB roundtable today that banks are being held accountable when they rely on housing appraisals that are discriminatory. “While appraisers and the appraisal process are not often seen as parts of the banking system, there are clear intersections,” Hsu noted at the event, which was part of a broader Biden administration push for fairness in appraisals. “Banking regulations require appraisals on certain transactions, and banks rely on third-party appraisals in their underwriting and overall risk management practices. Regulators, including the OCC, expect banks to ensure their vendors treat customers fairly and do not discriminate, and we are seeing banks held accountable for discrimination in appraisals they use.”

However, Hsu made clear that banks’ oversight of appraisers alone is “not sufficient to solve the problem of bias in appraisals.” Rather, addressing discrimination in the housing appraisal process requires a collective effort by all stakeholders, including third-party appraisal providers, he said, noting that the federal banking agencies are working together to address the problem.