Apple Card investigation finds no evidence of gender bias

Apple Card physical and virtual
Apple Card physical and virtual (Image credit: Lory Gil / iMore)

What you need to know

  • An Apple Card investigation has found no evidence of gender bias against women.
  • Goldman Sachs and Apple have previously been accused of offering lower credit limits to women.

An investigation into Apple Card provider Goldman Sachs has found no evidence of intentional gender discrimination.

From Bloomberg:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. didn't use discriminatory practices when deciding whether to extend credit to prospective customers of its Apple Card, the New York State Department of Financial Services said.A review by the regulator found no evidence of intentional bias against women, the department said in a statement Tuesday. It also found no evidence that the lender's credit decisions had a disparate impact on certain groups of people.

Federal regulators in New York opened an investigation into Apple Card in 2019, following reports of women being offered lower credit limits than men when they applied, notably, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and his wife Janet. Basecamp founder David Heinemeier Hansson also launched a tirade against Apple on Twitter claiming he was offered "20x" the credit limit his wife was even though they filed joint tax returns.

Superintendent of Financial SErvices Linda A. Lacewell reportedly said "While we found no fair lending violations, our inquiry stands as a reminder of disparities in access to credit that continue nearly 50 years after the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This is one part of a broader discussion we must have about equal credit access."

GS was criticized by the investigation for "deficiencies in customer service" and said a lack of transparency may have undermined consumer trust, adding the problems could have been avoided "by better management of the product's roll-out."

The investigation reportedly reviewed underwriting data for 400,000 New York applicants, finding no violation of fair lending laws. The report continues:

Data on households' credit histories that lenders use when deciding whether to extend credit can sometimes reflect historical or latent bias, the regulator said. "The data used by creditors in developing and testing a model can perpetuate unintended biased outcomes," it said in the report.

Here's everything you need to know about Apple Card.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9