WASHINGTON, D.C. — To address the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s concerns that dealer participation programs pose a “significant risk” of “pricing disparities on the basis of race, national origin, and potentially other prohibited bases,” the vehicle finance industry announced this week it is undertaking an independent review of the matter.

The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) is commissioning the study to assess the effectiveness of the present model and evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative approaches. Researchers are currently being vetted, according to officials.

“[The association] and its members do not tolerate discrimination in any size, shape or form,” said Chris Stinebert, president and CEO of the association. “We take the CFPB’s concerns very seriously and plan to share with them the results of our cost-benefit analysis of the present and alternative dealer participation models.”

Based in Washington, D.C., the AFSA (www.afsaonline.org) is the national trade association for the consumer credit industry, protecting access to credit and consumer choice. Its 350 members include consumer and commercial finance companies, vehicle finance/leasing companies, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers, industrial banks and industry suppliers.