LendingTree CEO: Metrics in Place to Detect Terrorists Who Try to Borrow

By Business Leaders FOXBusiness

San Bernardino shooter's loan raises questions about online lenders

LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda on one of the San Bernardino shooter's loan from an online lender to buy ammunition.

Although the San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was able to borrow $28,500 from a San Francisco online lender weeks before the vicious attack, LendingTree (TREE) CEO Doug Lebda says “it looked like a normal course of business for someone who qualified for a loan.”

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During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria Lebda discussed how the rampage has impacted the online lending business from a regulatory standpoint.

"So far there [have] not been any regulatory changes and I’m not really sure what they could be. We worked with over 400 lenders at LendingTree, we are a marketplace that connects consumers and lenders and there’s already so many regulations including when somebody fills out a loan application, it gets run through terrorist databases and it gets run through anti-money laundering statue databases etc.,” he said.

Lebda also said lending standards forbid discrimination.  

“Whenever you make a loan, if somebody has a social security number you’re also not allowed to discriminate. So, it would be impossible for a lender to take somebody who is a U.S. citizen, has good credit and a social security number and actually not make them a loan,” he said.

When asked if he thinks metrics are in place to identify whether a terrorist is trying to borrow money he said: “Absolutely… if you think about the opposite, if you didn’t make a loan to somebody who was a Muslim or Arabic and wasn’t in a database, you’d probably be sued for that and you’d get in serious trouble for it.”

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