Inner City Press' Community Reinvestment Reporter

  

     Welcome to Inner City Press’ CRA Report.  Our other Reporters cover the financial services industry, human rights, the Federal Reserve, and other beats.  ICP has published a book about the CRA-relevant topic of predatory lending - click here for sample chapters, a map, and ordering informationCBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts."  The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of 'Predatory Bender']," City Limits, Oct. 2004.  The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe." Click here for that review; click here to Search This Site  Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.

Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere. Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations. New: Follow us on TWITTER   BloggingHeads.tv  Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press. 2014: MRL on Beacon Reader  For or with more information, contact us. See, in November 2021, Inner City Press' book "Belt and Roadkill," here

May 16, 2022

FDIC On Notice Of Need Crackdown On Bank Mergers As OCC Talks But No RFI Fed Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, May 14 –    With the mega-merger horse largely out of the barn in the US, Citibank too big to question for its business in Russia even as JPMorgan Chase admits gambling a billion dollars they while closing branches in NYC, the smallest of regulators had started a review.  But where is the Community Reinvestment Act in mergers?

  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with jurisdiction mostly over small banks not members of the Federal Reserve System with the exception of the ironically named Truist, has a public comment period on mergers. 

  With the FDIC's request for information comment period set until May 31, here, Fair Finance Watch on April 11 submitted a first comment, now online here and below.

  The OCC through Comptroller Hsu has spoken of taking a harder look at mergers, but has yet to put out even the RFI that the FDIC did. The Federal Reserve, needless to say, is nowhere on this. Will the new Governors make a difference? Watch this site.

May 9, 2022

The Peoples Bank Dismissive on Lending Disparities & to Avenatti Inner City Press Raises

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, May 7 – Based in Biloxi, Mississippi The Peoples Bank made loans to now convicted Michael Avenatti, while disproportionately NOT lending to African Americans in their community. Fair Finance Watch, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, challenged its application to the FDIC to acquire trust assets of Trustmark National Bank under the Community Reinvestment Act. See below.   

   Now The Peoples Bank's CEO, who made the loans to Avenatti, has responded. On fair lending, the responsive is dismissive to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. And on the Avenatti loans, it says the issue is not worthy of a response. Really? Response, which we were unable to copy and paste from, on Patreon here.

From the protest:  The applicant The Peoples Bank in 2020 in Mississippi based on its disparate marketing made 108 mortgage loans to whites -- while making only TEN loans to African Americans. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and others lenders, in Mississippi, in particularly in The Peoples Bank's CRA assessment areas - this is outrageous.  

 Fair Finance Watch is also timely contesting whether, given its documented record of negligence, The Peoples Bank is qualified to take on more trust business. The Peoples Bank made three dubious loans to now incarcerated Michael Avenatti -- Inner City Press has covered the cases -- as set for in  https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/press-release/file/1147466/download  This criminal case - and how it reflects on The Peoples Bank's due diligence and managerial recources - concerns at least three loans:  one for $850,500, one for $2,750,000, and one for $500,000.  "The Peoples Bank President Chevis Swetman has not commented on the charges against Avenatti, saying only that he is still going through the criminal complaint." How do it reflect on The Peoples Bank?    

 How indeed. Watch this site.

May 2, 2022

First Internet Bank Hit By 1st CRA Protest of 2022 Requested Withdrawal now Rubberstamped

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Story
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, April 30 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will be again enforced until the new Administration and its regulators remains an open question - although it it being answered in the negative, rubber-stamp approval by rubber-stamp approval.

  As the first CRA challenge of 2022, Fair Finance Watch with Inner City Press on the FOIA filed comments with the Federal Reserve against First Internet Bank, below.

  On January 19, First Internet Bank wrote to say that anything for which it requested confidential treatment MUST be withheld. For First Internet Bank, Larry Tomlin of SmithAmundsen of Indianapolis tells Inner City Press and the regulators and DOJ that Fair Finance Watch should withdraw its comments. Really? Inner City Press immediately filed a new and expanded FOIA request.

On February 22, First Internet - the bank that said Inner City Press' comment against it should be withdrawn - had to respond to this question: "5. According to First Internet Bank of Indiana's CRA Performance Evaluation, dated April 6, 2021, the bank received ratings of "Needs to Improve" and "Substantial Noncompliance" in each year (2018, 2019, and 2020) on Tests 6 ("Small Business Lending to Borrowers with Revenues of $1 million or less") and 9 ("Community Development Lending"). Provide information on how the bank has improved performance on these two metrics since 2020. Additionally, provide information on how the bank plans to improve these metrics following the merger with First Century Bank."

Its response? "The Bank continues to focus on and improve its CRA performance across the board." No, disparate.

Even the Federal Reserve Board's rubber-stamp approval in late April acknowledged "low volume of community development lending and a low level of lending to businesses with revenues of $1 million or less." Yet they approved.

April 25, 2022

  Now filed: "a timely comment on, the Applications The Peoples Bank, Biloxi, MS to acquire business from Trustmark in a proposal subject to the CRA which appears on the FDIC website under "Applications In Process Subject to the CRA Report" with an initial comment period running through May 8. This comment is timely.       The applicant The Peoples Bank in 2020 in Mississippi based on its disparate marketing made 108 mortgage loans to whites -- while making only TEN loans to African Americans. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and others lenders, in Mississippi, in particularly in The Peoples Bank's CRA assessment areas - this is outrageous.   

Fair Finance Watch is also timely contesting whether, given its documented record of negligence, The Peoples Bank is qualified to take on more trust business. The Peoples Bank made three dubious loans to now incarcerated Michael Avenatti -- Inner City Press has covered the cases -- as set for here

  This criminal case - and how it reflects on The Peoples Bank's due diligence and managerial recources - concerns at least three loans:  one for $850,500, one for $2,750,000, and one for $500,000.  "The Peoples Bank President Chevis Swetman has not commented on the charges against Avenatti, saying only that he is still going through the criminal complaint." How do it reflect on The Peoples Bank?

  Inner City Press is requesting an extension of the public comment period, public / virtual evidentiary hearings and that, on the current record, the applications not be approved      FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the FDIC's to rubber-stamp mergers by redliners, money launderers and predatory lenders. This has been killing the Community Reinvestment Act and we timely request public hearings.  The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved."


April 18, 2022

FDIC Is Told Of Need Crackdown On US Bank Mergers by Fair Finance Watch Now Fed, OCC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, April 11 –    With the mega-merger horse largely out of the barn in the US, Citibank too big to question for its business in Russia even as JPMorgan Chase admits gambling a billion dollars they while closing branches in NYC, the smallest of regulators had started a review.  But where is the Community Reinvestment Act in mergers?

  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with jurisdiction mostly over small banks not members of the Federal Reserve System with the exception of the ironically named Truist, has a public comment period on mergers. 

  With the FDIC's request for information comment period set until May 31, here, Fair Finance Watch on April 11 submitted a first comment:

April 11, 2022 

Via Email

  FDIC Attn: James P. Sheesley, Assistant Executive Secretary Comments—RIN 3064–ZA31, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429  Re: Comments to the FDIC on improving merger reviews (RIN 3064–ZA31) 

Dear Secretary Sheesley:       On behalf of Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch, this is a first timely comment on the FDIC's Request for Information about merger review.   

 All three Federal bank regulatory agencies need to improve their merger review to more fulsomely include review of performance under the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, as well as other negative impacts of recent mergers, from branch closings to raised prices to, yes, layoffs. Some responses:

     Question 1. Does the existing regulatory framework properly consider all aspects of the Bank Merger Act as currently codified in Section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act?

    No - the FDIC (and Federal Reserve and OCC) does not sufficient consider "the probable effect of the transaction in meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served." When the effect of a transaction includes further denuding lower income communities of branches, that is NOT meeting the convenience or needs of these communities. 

Question 2. What, if any, additional requirements or criteria should be included in the existing regulatory framework to address the financial stability risk factor...  Q 3.   

   The regulators are far too narrow. One recent example: Fair Finance Watch raised to the FRB and OCC that merger partner MUFG still does business in Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. This is clearly risky (as well as immoral) and yet the Fed and OCC have not even asked MUFG or its proposed partner about it. 

Question 4. To what extent should the convenience and needs factor be considered...

COMMENT: It would be absurd to simply defer to CRA ratings, when the regulators rate over 95 of banks Satisfactory or Outstanding. Also, employees are clearly "stakeholders" as the question puts it - yet the Federal Reserve had a footnote implying that no level of job loss is relevant to it in reviewing a merger. The CFPB should be consulted, as should legal data bases of discrimination cases. It must be made easier for the impacted public to comment, and to get copies of the regulators questions to the banks, and the banks answers.

 Question 5. In addition to the HHI...


  The HHI understates the anticompetitive effects of recent mergers, with small banks being considered competitors to the Top Ten. More public comments, and more public hearings, are needed. 

Question 6. How and to what extent should the following factors be considered in determining whether a particular merger transaction creates a monopoly or is otherwise anticompetitive? Please address the following factors....

 The examples the FDIC gives here imply that it thinks that current antitrust review is too strenuous - but the opposite is the truth. Unless the Antitrust Memo of the administration is meaningless, antitrust review must become more robust. 

Question 7. Does the existing regulatory framework create an implicit presumption of approval? If so, what actions should the FDIC take to address this implicit presumption?   

 The FDIC rubber stamps nearly all mergers. The bottom line is, some transactions should be denied. For example, when Investors Bank with its weak fair lending record got a conditional approval from the FDIC, it should have been a denial. The Federal Reserve absurdly allows Reserve Banks, which have no power to deny, to approve applications even by banks with rare Needs to Improve CRA ratings (Berkshire Bank). 

Question 8. Does the existing regulatory framework require an appropriate burden of proof from the merger applicant that the criteria of the Bank Merger Act have been met? If not, what modifications to the framework would be appropriate with respect to the burden of proof? 

COMMENT: The applicants should have to carry their burden and THEN a public comment period open, with sur-reply to the banks' response. 

Question 9. The Bank Merger Act provides an exception to its requirements... 

 These emergency powers have been abused, routinely on work-outs, and especially for example on the Fed allowing Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (now a monopolist) into banking without any public comment period. 

Question 10. To what extent would responses to Questions 1–9 differ for the consideration of merger transactions involving a small insured depository institution?

These banks are key to some communities. There should be more review, and more public participation. There should be (automatic) public hearings. You will be hearing more from Fair Finance Watch, and other organizations including those of which it is a (proud) member [i.e., NCRC]  Matthew R. Lee, Esq., Executive Director Fair Finance Watch / Inner City Press South Bronx, NY 10458 USA

Inner City Press notes that former Federal Reserve government has chimed in for / on Brookings - mentioning Truist and Morgan Stanley, but not even once the CRA. Fair Finance Watch says by contrast, CRA must be at the center, it is communities loses to the mergers.

    Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has written to the Fed's Jay Powell and to national bank overseer Michael Hsu, the Comptroller of the Currency who himself came from the Fed, to ask them to get involved. 

 They have much more to answer for.

  The FDIC in the face of a Community Reinvestment Act challenge to Investors Bank by Fair Finance Watch imposed conditions on the bank.

   But the Fed, with Investors being gobbled up by Citizens Bank, refused to review Investors compliance with even those tame conditions. Inner City Press' FOIA requests languish for months at the Fed.  

 The OCC, despite the issue being raised to Hsu, has yet to implement even back transparency measures in its merger reviews, such as sending copies of its questions, and the banks' answers, to public commenters.

So things are worse, it seems, than Senator Brown and his colleagues know.

The public, particularly affected communities, much comments and comment now. Watch this site. 

April 11, 2022

Call To Crackdown On US Bank Mergers Amid Fed Contempt for CRA Condition, Opaque OCC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, April 8 –    With the mega-merger horse largely out of the barn in the US, Citibank too big to question for its business in Russia even as JPMorgan Chase admits gambling a billion dollars there while closing branches in New York. the smallest of regulators had started a review.  

  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with jurisdiction mostly over small banks not members of the Federal Reserve System with the exception of the ironically named Truist, has a public comment period on mergers.  

    Now Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has written to the Fed's Jay Powell and to national bank overseer Michael Hsu, the Comptroller of the Currency who himself came from the Fed, to ask them to get involved. 

 They have much more to answer for.

  The FDIC in the face of a Community Reinvestment Act challenge to Investors Bank by Fair Finance Watch imposed conditions on the bank.

   But the Fed, with Investors being gobbled up by Citizens Bank, refused to review Investors compliance with even those tame conditions. Inner City Press' FOIA requests languish for months at the Fed.  

 The OCC, despite the issue being raised to Hsu, has yet to implement even back transparency measures in its merger reviews, such as sending copies of its questions, and the banks' answers, to public commenters.

So things are worse, it seems, than Senator Brown and his colleagues know.

The public, particularly affected communities, much comments and comment now. Watch this site. 

April 4, 2022

Fed and Citizens Bank Thumbed Noses At CRA On Investors Bank, Request for Reconsideration

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Story Order
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, March 27 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will be again enforced under the current Administration and its regulators is an open question still - though the answer is more and more No.  The proposed acquisition of Investors Bank by Citizens Bank was a litmus test, one that both Citizens and the Fed have failed.

   Investors Bank is one of the most disparate banks in New York State, where in 2020 it made only three mortgage loans to African Americans, while denying fully seven applications from African Americans. By contrast, it made 164 loans to whites while denying only 76 applications from whites.

  Inner City Press raised the 2019 disparities to the FDIC - and on July 30 was contacted by the FDIC that it imposed rare conditions on Investors. Letter here. This was raised on Citizens' applications: "be aware that based on Fair Finance Watch's comments to the FDIC about Investors, it recently imposed a condition on Investors. Investors has yet to meaningfully implement the required improvements; this application should not be approved, much less at this time.    The FDIC wrote:

 "Matthew Lee, Esquire Executive Director Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch  Dear Mr. Lee: We are writing to inform you that the FDIC approved Investors Bank’s application to acquire eight branches from Berkshire Bank. As part of the application review process, we investigated the issues you raised in your e-mail dated January 19, 2019... The Bank will develop and Board approve an Action Plan within 60 days of the  effective date of this Order to ensure that its home mortgage lending adequately  addresses the credit needs of all segments of its market areas. The Action Plan  should include, at a minimum, the following: a. The Bank will regularly monitor application and origination activity of home  mortgage loans in majority-minority census tracts and from Blacks throughout the  Bank’s assessment areas.  b. The Bank will ensure marketing and outreach efforts are inclusive of all communities,  including minority communities within all the Bank’s assessment areas. The  marketing and outreach efforts should focus on home mortgage product awareness.  Marketing activities should use materials and media that reflect the racial and ethnic  composition of the targeted communities. The Bank should also have specific  advertising and outreach goals, and the results of these efforts should be documented,  monitored, and evaluated for effectiveness.  5. Upon Board approval of this Order, the Bank will provide a copy of the signed Order to  the FDIC's New York Regional Office within 30 days.  6. Upon Board approval of such Action Plan, the Bank will provide a copy of the Plan  to the FDIC’s New York Regional Office. 7. The Bank will provide the FDIC’s New York Regional Office with quarterly  updates detailing its progress in meeting the goals listed in the Action Plan."

  But in response to this, Citizens only said dismissively that the record of the acquiree doesn't matter. So they could buy OneCoin? It is major law firm making this argument. It is an embarrassment. And the Federal Reserve's question letter of October 22 does not address it, and Citizens' law firm late provided its "answer" and two responses to the Fed.

Nevertheless on March 22 the Federal Reserve Board, with Sarah Bloom Raskin blocked from joining and two others yet to arrived, rubber stamped Citizens' application. It stated that "The commenter also alleged that, as a result of disparate marketing, Investors Bank made disproportionately fewer home loans in the states of New Jersey and New York to African American individuals as compared to white individuals based on 2020 HMDA data. In addition, the commenter noted that the FDIC had imposed a condition in connection with a previous branch acquisition that Investors Bank develop an action plan to ensure that its home mortgage lending adequately addresses the credit needs of all segments of its market areas. The commenter asserted that Investors Bank has yet to meaningfully implement the required improvements and that the proposal should not be approved at this time."

The Fed gave its March 22 approval despite Investors having done very little or nothing. This as Fair Finance Watch has raised another moribund condition, by Oakwood Bank in Dallas, to the FDIC. What do these conditions mean? Inner City Press filed a timely request for reconsideration: "This is a timely request for reconsideration of the Board's approval of the Applications by Citizens Financial Group's application to acquire Investors Bancorp noting but not addressing Investor's weakness which gave rise to FDIC condition.    This is a new low for the FRB. This was a condition imposed by one of the two other Federal bank regulators. If the Board won't even inquire into and take a written position on a merger partner's performance under a written condition imposed by another regulators, these conditions are meaningless.    Fair Finance Watch timely put into record before the Board:  The FDIC wrote: "Matthew Lee, Esquire Executive Director Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch  Dear Mr. Lee: We are writing to inform you that the FDIC approved Investors Bank’s application to acquire eight branches from Berkshire Bank. As part of the application review process, we investigated the issues you raised in your e-mail dated January 19, 2019...  The Bank will develop and Board approve an Action Plan within 60 days of the  effective date of this Order to ensure that its home mortgage lending adequately  addresses the credit needs of all segments of its market areas. The Action Plan  should include, at a minimum, the following: a. The Bank will regularly monitor application and origination activity of home  mortgage loans in majority-minority census tracts and from Blacks throughout the  Bank’s assessment areas.  b. The Bank will ensure marketing and outreach efforts are inclusive of all communities,  including minority communities within all the Bank’s assessment areas. The  marketing and outreach efforts should focus on home mortgage product awareness.  Marketing activities should use materials and media that reflect the racial and ethnic  composition of the targeted communities. The Bank should also have specific  advertising and outreach goals, and the results of these efforts should be documented,  monitored, and evaluated for effectiveness.  5. Upon Board approval of this Order, the Bank will provide a copy of the signed Order to  the FDIC's New York Regional Office within 30 days.  6. Upon Board approval of such Action Plan, the Bank will provide a copy of the Plan  to the FDIC’s New York Regional Office. 7. The Bank will provide the FDIC’s New York Regional Office with quarterly  updates detailing its progress in meeting the goals listed in the Action Plan."      The Board in its approval merely recited this, without addressing it: "the commenter noted that the FDIC had imposed a condition in connection with a previous branch acquisition that Investors Bank develop an action plan to ensure that its home mortgage lending adequately addresses the credit needs of all segments of its market areas. The commenter asserted that Investors Bank has yet to meaningfully implement the required improvements and that the proposal should not be approved at this time."     Has Investors meaningfully implemented these requirements? The Fed with all its resources does not address it. The Order makes a mockery of the regulators' way to approve an otherwise unapprovable merger like Investors.    The Order should be reconsidered, by each current government and those incoming, before this proposal is consummated - the Order should be stayed for that purpose." Watch this site.

 Citizens in 2020 in New York State based on its disparate marketing made 7183 mortgage loans to whites, with 3116 denials to whites -- while making only 323 loans to African Americans, with more than that in denials: 336.  

Watch this site.

March 28, 2022

Predatory Lending Lawsuit Against Bank of America Removed From The Bronx to SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 25 – Juan Sanchez and George Royer sued Bank of America, Bayview Loan Servicing and MERS for predatory mortgage practices. The lawsuit was filed in state court in The Bronx but Bank of America removed it to Federal court.                  

  On March 25, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge LewJohn G. Koeltl held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

 Plaintiffs counsel said the case should be in The Bronx, before a Bronx jury. Judge Koeltl said he understood the impulse, but that if there is diversity, the case would stay Federal.

He asked the defendants to demonstrate their citizenship (outside of New York).

Amalgamated Bank Deal Off Amid CRA Protest For Closed Bronx Branch Now Lawsuit Threat

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, March 23 – A CRA protest to Amalgamated Bank, which shuttered its South Bronx branch on Burnside Avenue with no mitigation, has been followed the Amalgamated proposal to acquire a Chicago-based bank falling apart. Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press, which filed the CRA protest, say Good Riddance.

Now, a threat of litigation, in an SEC 8K: "Reference is made to the Current Report on Form 8-K of Amalgamated Financial Corp. (the "Company") filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission") on September 22, 2021, reporting that the Company had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Amalgamated Investments Company ("AIC"), the holding company for Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (the "Merger Agreement"). On February 25, 2022, the Company issued a press release (furnished as Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K furnished under Item 7.01 thereof) stating, among other things, that the Company had withdrawn its application for regulatory approval to acquire AIC due to an inability to obtain such approval and, as a result, the Company was is no longer proceeding with the transaction.  On March 15, 2022, the Company received a letter from AIC in which AIC declared the Merger Agreement terminated. Although the Company believes that there are no termination penalties in connection with the termination of the Merger Agreement, the Company has been advised by AIC's counsel that AIC may seek compensatory damages for an alleged breach of the Merger Agreement by the Company. The Company denies that it breached the Merger Agreement and would intend to vigorously defend any such claims by AIC." No honor among thieves.

The protest: October 23, 2021 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Attn: Frank Hughes, Regional Director and Robert P. Cordeiro, Scott D. Strockoz 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1200 New York, NY 10118-0110 Re: Timely First Comment on Application by Amalgamated Bank (NY) to buy Amalgamated Bank in Chicago

Dear Regional Director Hughes and others at the FDIC:   This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the FDIC's public comment period on the Applications by Amalgamated Bank (NY) to buy Amalgamated Bank in Chicago. 

  As the FDIC surely knows, Amalgamated Bank New York outrageously closed branches including at 94 Burnside Avenue in the South Bronx when its customers needed it most.   

  This caused Fair Finance Watch to look more closely. And Amalgamated is not what it pretend to be. In 2020 in New York Amalgamated made only 41 home loans to African Americans, while denying more (67) - compared to its 962 loans to whites, with FEWER denials to whites (577).    That the Burnside Avenue closing has a negative impact is recognized even by state regulators: 'October 7, 2020 (TR-CRB) AMALGAMATED BANK 275 Seventh Avenue (Fourteenth Floor, New York, NY 10001  In accordance with Section 28-c of the Banking Law, the Superintendent of Financial Services has found that the closing of branch office at 94 East Burnside Avenue, Borough of Bronx, City of New York 10453, will result in a significant reduction of financial services in the community affected.' The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved."

The subsequent news: "New York-based Amalgamated Bank’s publicly traded parent Amalgamated Financial has walked away from its attempt to purchase the unaffiliated Amalgamated Bank of Chicago for $98 million dollars, Crain’s reported.   The banks were both founded by clothing workers’ unions, with organized labor still having a major stake in the New York institution, which has withdrawn its application for regulatory approval of the acquisition it announced it was seeking in September.   It cited an “inability” to obtain Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approval in a statement after the close of trading Friday.  “As a result, AMAL is no longer proceeding with the transaction,” the statement said, using the parent company’s ticker symbol.  Amalgamated Bank of Chicago said the New York company does not have good cause to walk away from the deal.  “The terms of our agreement with Amalgamated Financial are clear on what triggers termination of this sale,” a spokeswoman for the Chicago bank said in an email to Crain’s. “They have not met that threshold as the door on addressing issues raised by the FDIC to obtain regulatory approval is still open. Amalgamated Financial has an obligation to address those issues, which we believe are not financial in nature, and move forward with refiling their application with the FDIC. Our goal is to help them overcome the issues that have been raised and we are confident that the sale can get back on track.” We say no.

March 21, 2022

As Redliner Community Bank NA Wants Elmira Inner City Press Protested Now Extends April 8

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Story