As it prepares to edit and release Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by Sept. 1, the Federal Reserve Board says it hopes lenders will not be overly concerned about the result, but see it as an opportunity to identify new markets."One of the things that we hope will come out of this process is that institutions will use the [HMDA] data to identify market opportunities, and that way stimulate competition," Glenn Canner, a Fed senior adviser, told a panel at the Consumer Bankers Association conference in Washington, D.C. As to lenders' concerns, Mr. Canner noted that there is a reputation risk from facing unfavorable reports in the news media, as well as the possibility that "there is discrimination that underlies the data" and that financial and other penalties may be imposed. "What we are concerned about is that some of the institutions see the potential for bad press, for example, or other costs that may come from this, and it may deter them from participating in that higher-priced end of the market and weaken their position rather than stimulate it," Mr. Canner said.

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