Inner City Press/FFW: Watchdogging and Taking Action Since 1987


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Video on NY Times
Some press coverage

Housing group challenges Fed's Bear Stearns deal (Reuters of March 16, 2008)

Campaign advisers tied to lending crisis
(USA Today of April 2, 2008, re subprime Delta)

Previous study of 05

"Report: Some Big Banks' Minority Lending Worsened," by Stacy Kaper, American Banker, April 11, 2006

"HMDA Data Show Larger Disparities Among Races," Inside B&C Lending, April 14, 2006

ICP's previous studies of the 2004 HMDA data: first   second   third fourth fifth

Some coverage:

“Citigroup Units Kept Making Loans That Violated Policy,” by Eric Dash, New York Times, May 4, 2005, Pg. C9

New York’s Minority Loan Practices Draw Interest: Bank data report reveals major rate disparity on city's home mortgages,” by Tom Fredrickson, Crain’s New York Business, May 2, 2005, Pg. 1

“Given Credit Where It’s Due,” New York Daily News (editorial, by Beverly Weintraub), May 2, 1005, Pg. 34

Royal Bank of Scotland Pursued by U.S. Consumers,” Dow Jones, May 1, 2005.

Spitzer Is Urged to Probe Royal Bank of Scotland,” by Dominic Rushe, Sunday Times (London), May 1, 2005

“New York's attorney general seeks data to assess whether lenders are targeting minorities,” by Annette Haddad, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2005

“With New Data, Attorney General Looks at Mortgage Rates,” by Tami Luhby, New York Newsday, April 29, 2005

AP re ICP's first study  


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Subprime Survivors Wells, BofA and JPM Chase Were More Disparate By Race in 2008 than Wachovia or Countrywide, Trends Will Worsen Under Current Regulators

NEW YORK, April 2 -- In the first study of the just-released 2008 mortgage lending data, Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch has found that the seeming survivors of the banking meltdown, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, had worse disparities by race and ethnicity in denials and higher-cost lending than the banks they acquired, Wachovia and Countrywide. Mortgage lending in the U.S. will become more and not less disparate because of the emergency mergers and bailouts engineered by the regulators, the study predicts.

   Fair Finance Watch notes that JPMorgan Chase's massive closing of branches of Washington Mutual will also make credit harder to come by, especially in poor neighborhoods.  2008 is the fifth year in which the data distinguishes which loans are higher cost, over the federally-defined rate spread of 3 percent over the yield on Treasury securities of comparable duration on first lien loans, 5 percent on subordinate liens.

            Wells Fargo Bank in 2008 confined African Americans to higher-cost loans above this rate spread 2.18 times more frequently than whites, according to Fair Finance Watch. Wachovia Mortgage FSB, the largest lender of Wachovia which Wells Fargo acquired, had a lower disparity, at 1.46.

            Bank of America NA in 2008 confined Latinos to higher-cost loans above the rate spread 1.51 times more frequently than whites, the data show. Countrywide Bank, which B of A acquired, had a lower disparity, at 1.22.

            JPMorgan Chase was even more disparate to Latinos, confined them to higher-cost loans 2.10 times more frequently than whites, almost as pronounced as its disparity between African-Americans and whites, 2.26. Citigroup, perhaps due to its shrinking, some say dying, business had disparities of 1.90 for African Americans and 1.23 for Latinos. For US Bancorp, the disparity for African Americans was 1.55 and for Latinos, 1.35.

            "The banks the regulators favored in 2008, allowing emergency takeovers like JPMorgan Chase's of Washington Mutual, Bank of America's of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo's of Wachovia, were the most racial disparate lenders," states the Fair Finance Watch report. "The regulators did not put any conditions on the mergers or Troubled Assets Relief Program bailouts, for example allowing Chase to close dozens of Washington Mutual branches. As things are going, it will be worse and more disparate in 2009. The new administration has yet to make any substantive change to this."

            Several lenders had worse denial rate disparities in 2008 between Latinos and whites then between African American and whites, a change from previous years. Bank of America NA, for example, denied applications by African Americans 1.44 times more frequently than whites, while denying Latinos fully 1.57 times more frequently than whites. Atlanta-based SunTrust in 2008 denied applications by African Americans 1.37 times more frequently than whites, while denying Latinos fully 1.78 times more frequently than whites.

  The law required that the 2008 data be provided by April 1, following March 1 requests by Fair Finance Watch. Some lenders did not provide their data by the deadline. Regions Financial provided its data at the deadline but only in paper format, on over 2000 pages, so that it could not yet be computer-analyzed. Further studies will follow.

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ICP's book on these topics, "Predatory Bender"   CL Review  order / Amazon

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