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Behind Apple Card, Goldman Sachs responds to accusations of gender bias

  • Goldman Sachs' algorithms are being accused of gender bias in underwriting.
  • Some husbands have claimed that they received up to 20x the credit lines their wives received.
Behind Apple Card, Goldman Sachs responds to accusations of gender bias

Goldman Sachs has claimed that the launch of Apple Card has been the most successful rollout of a credit card in history. And last week, we began to see some of the early performance metrics roll in.

Now, Goldman has to deal with something entirely different. A discussion on Twitter last week explored whether there is a gender bias in setting credit limits on the new card.

  • Multiple users brought examples of credit parity where Apple Card credit limits were significantly higher for men.
  • Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak claimed that he received 10x the line his wife did, even though they hold joint assets and bank accounts
  • Another entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson said he received 20x what his wife did
  • Goldman Sachs Bank CEO Carey Halio addressed the situation publicly, saying the algorithmic credit decisioning is fair and gender isn’t part of the equation

Whether it’s toprevent borrowers from gaming the system or to automate and scale, credit decisioning is becoming increasingly automated.

  • Online lender Upstart recently received a positive update  to its no-action letter from the CFPB about its use of alt data in credit decisioning.
  • Upstart’s reported expansion of credit access occurs across all tested race, ethnicity, and sex segments resulting in the tested model increasing acceptance rates by 23 percent to 29 percent and decreasing average APRs by 15 percent to 17 percent.

Consumers are worried: Two-thirds of people surveyed are concerned about robots discriminating against them in decision-making.

  • Incidences like this renew a call for tougher policing of big tech. “
  • These sorts of unfairnesses bother me and go against the principle of truth. We don’t have transparency on how these companies set these things up and operate,” said Wozniak. “Our government isn’t strong enough on the issues of regulation. Consumers can only be represented by the government because the big corporations only represent themselves.”
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