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While small businesses represent a significant portion of the economy, there is mounting evidence that the playing field is not level for these firms in access to capital. Based on 10 years of matched-paired mystery shopping tests in banks to investigate bank lending practices and customer experience, the results demonstrate that in almost every instance, minorities were treated more poorly than their White counterparts. However, the authors acknowledge the controversy surrounding this issue, as some question the need for government action to push banks in this direction. Before offering evidence of the impact race can have on the treatment of small business owners who apply for loans, they present two frameworks which support the adoption of race-based criteria in evaluating bank performance, namely, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Innovation. They then provide a summary of the results of mystery shopping studies they have conducted, concluding that banks are leaving profits on the table through their discriminatory practices.

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