Goldman Sachs cleared of bias in Apple Card approvals after investigation

Back in 2019, there was a loud clamoring that Apple Card, supplied by Goldman Sachs, had some bias in its approval process. Specifically, that the approval process was sexist, leaning in more favorable terms to males than females. However, the latest investigation reveals that isn’t the case.

As reported today by Bloomberg, the findings of the latest investigation by the New York financial regulator reveals that Goldman Sachs has been cleared of discriminatory lending decisions and gender bias in the approval process. According to the results, Goldman Sachs didn’t use discriminatory practices when deciding to extend, or not to extend, credit to applicants.

What’s more, the investigation revealed that the credit decisions Goldman Sachs did make, using its algorithm, did not have a disproportionate impact on specific groups of people. Goldman Sachs CEO said as much in November of 2019 after the early allegations cropped up.

From the report, Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell had this to say:

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.

Apparently the investigation focused on applications in the New York area. Specifically, 400,000 of them. In that investigation, the results showed no gender discrimination or other predatory efforts in that regard.

Now, while Goldman Sachs avoided those initial claims, the investigation did show some weak spots for the financial institute. Namely, a lack of transparency and overall shortcomings in general customer service. In those regards, the investigation found that Goldman Sachs may be eroding customer trust, and should try harder to improve these elements.