HARRISBURG, Penn.-The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be zeroing in on buy rate financing, a move that could help level the indirect auto lending playing field between banks and credit unions.

The new consumer agency made it clear last month it is looking into the practice of dealers marking up the interest rate on loans-known as buy rate, dealer reserve and dealer mark-up. The CFPB warned four large banks of potential lawsuits for alleged discriminatory lending under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, according to published reports. American Banker, a sister publication of CU Journal, reported last summer that the consumer agency was investigating whether the rate mark-ups are being imposed by auto dealers in a discriminatory way.

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