Fifth Third Bancorp reports it is facing a Justice Department investigation over whether it engaged in discriminatory auto lending practices. The Cincinnati-based lender says it is cooperating with an investigation into the bank's "indirect automobile loan portfolio." Such loans are provided by lenders to consumers through auto dealerships.
The Justice Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have been investigating whether lenders' practices have led to discrimination against women and minorities. The probes focus in part on a practice in which auto dealers can mark up the rates offered on loans to consumers, known as a dealer participation fee.