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Consumer Bureau Said to Warn Banks of Auto Lending Suits

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has told at least four banks that it may sue them over vehicle loans and interest-rate markups by auto dealers that appear discriminatory, according to three people briefed on the matter.

The banks received letters from the CFPB last week giving them 15 days to provide an explanation of the practice, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The letters indicate the bureau believes the banks may have violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a 1974 law that bars discrimination in lending.