Goldman Sachs has promised to reevaluate how credit limits are determined for Apple Card users after being accused of gender discrimination.
“We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender,” Carey Halio, Goldman’s retail bank CEO, said in a statement to CNBC. “In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process.” She added that the lower credit lines could be because “their existing credit cards are supplemental cards under the spouse’s primary account — which may result in the applicant having limited personal credit history. Apple Card’s credit decision process is not aware of your marital status at the time of the application.”
Customers who received lower than expected credit limits should contact the lender to have their applications reexamined.
“Based on additional information we may request, we will re-evaluate your credit line,” the statement continued.
The issue came to light in a series of tweets posted by David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner at software development firm Basecamp. He claimed that he was approved for 20 times the credit limit that his wife received — even though they file joint tax returns and she actually has a better credit score. Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak also chimed in, saying the same thing happened to his wife.
As a result, the New York Department of Financial Services has launched an investigation into Goldman Sachs and the algorithms used to determine credit limits.
“The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex,” said a spokesman for Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the NY DFS. “Any algorithm that, intentionally or not, results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law.”
And Hansson is not at all impressed with Goldman’s statement. “ ‘I understand your concerns, but here’s why they are actually wrong and we are actually right’ is not listening. That’s patronizing. Please just stop,” he wrote.