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(Reuters) — A probe into Goldman Sachs’ credit card practices has been initiated after tweets from a tech entrepreneur alleged gender discrimination in the new Apple card algorithms that are used to determine credit limits.
In a series of Twitter posts starting on Thursday, David Heinemeier Hansson railed against the Apple Card for giving him 20 times the credit limit his wife got, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.
Hansson, who is the creator of web-application framework Ruby on Rails, didn’t disclose any specific income-related information for himself or his wife but said they filed joint tax returns and that his wife had a better credit score, the report said. New York’s Department of Financial Services confirmed that an investigation was being conducted. Andrew Williams, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson, declined to comment on whether Hansson had contacted Goldman Sachs regarding the concerns raised on Twitter because the bank does not discuss matters involving individual customers publicly.
The Apple Card, launched in August, is Goldman Sachs’ first credit card. The Wall Street investment bank has been offering more products to consumers, including personal loans and savings accounts through its Marcus online bank.
The Department of Financial Services “will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex,” a department spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement.
“Any algorithm that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates New York law.”
The iPhone maker says the card would be synched with iPhone users’ Apple Wallet and could be used to buy Apple products at a discount.
(Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Dilts in New York; editing by Sonya Hepinstall.)
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