Click here to Search This
Site -- For or with more information, contact us.
Speaking of NY
the Fed last
week ended an
- from 2009...
July 2, 2018
Reserve had to
admit that Deutsche Bank again
failed the stress
test. Now what
out the stress
Matthew R. Lee, Patreon
a 60 day
comment period on
and tailor 'Volcker
June 4, 2018
Matthew R. Lee, Audio
Matthew R. Lee, Audio
Matthew R. Lee, Patreon
Fed-speak / Fed - spun “A commenter objected to the proposal alleging that, based on data reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 (“HMDA”), Charles Schwab Bank lent only to white borrowers with incomes above 120 percent of the area median income in the Reno, Nevada, Metropolitan Statistical Area..The commenter also criticized the workplace benefit plans of Charles Schwab, noting that employees of Charles Schwab had filed a lawsuit alleging that the 401(k) plans of Charles Schwab have expensive fees and poor performance that have benefited Charles Schwab at the expense of its employees. See Severson v. Charles Schwab Corp., No. 4:17-cv-00285-CW (N.D. Cal. 2017). Charles Schwab has denied any wrongdoing. The allegations regarding the performance of 401(k) plans and fees charged by plan sponsors are matters that are reviewed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. See 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. The allegations are currently under review in the appropriate legal forum, and action on this proposal would not interfere with the court’s ability to resolve the pending litigation. See Natcom Bancshares Inc., FRB Order No. 2017-37 at 6 n.18 (December 18, 2017); M&P Community Bancshares, Inc., 92 Federal Reserve Bulletin C156, C156 n.7 (2006).”March 19, 2018
Tthe bank with the worst record in the United States for gouging consumers with overdraft fees, Ameris, has applied to the Federal Reserve to buy Hamilton State Bancshares - which, in the Atlanta MSA in 2016 for home purchase loans received 52 applications from whites, originated 37 of those as loans, denying only 12 applications. But for African Americans for home purchase loans, Hamilton State Bank denied every single on of the five applications that, based on its disparate marketing, it received or acknowledged. This is outrageous as is Ameris' record, and mis-statements. Ameris when it applied to buy Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation, and thereby directly acquire shares of Atlantic Coast Bank, falsely stated in its application that it would continue the CRA policies of Atlantic - see response to AI question 3, incorporated herein by reference. On the current record, public evidentiary hearings are needed on Ameris' Hamilton (and Atlanic) applications....
you need in a
object to the
So new Fed
Act in the
week - as if
he were coming
in fresh, and
some time been
appeals to get
ICP Protest to
Matthew R. Lee, Patreon
US Bancorp Slapped by Federal Reserve for Money Laundering, Fee Gouger Ameris Still Silent
Matthew R. Lee
Something remains wrong with the Federal Reserve's website https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/h2a/h2a.aspx - when searched by end of comment period, as of February 10 the most recent end is February 6. This hides applications and excludes the public. Inner City Press wrote to the Fed, without response or improvement. We'll have more on this.
After US OCC
Imposes Cap on
By Matthew R. LeeNEW YORK, February 2 – More than ten months after Wells Fargo Bank's Community Reinvestment Act rating was dropped two levels to "Needs to Improve," barring it from acquisitions, on February 2 the Federal Reserve said this: "Responding to recent and widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns by Wells Fargo, the Federal Reserve Board on Friday announced that it would restrict the growth of the firm until it sufficiently improves its governance and controls.. Until the firm makes sufficient improvements, it will be restricted from growing any larger than its total asset size as of the end of 2017." By contrast the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has quietly said, in a footnote to a Bulletin issued on October 12, that "The OCC’s policy is not to lower a bank’s CRA composite or component rating by more than one rating level." See here, footnote 8. So when did this become the OCC's policy, after it dropped Wells by two levels? Call it a stealth sop to Wells Fargo - and seemingly a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. We'll have more on this
Act After Fair
By Matthew R. LeeWASHINGTON, January 24 – Earlier this month Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch filed with the Federal Reserve for evidentiary hearings on the application by Charles Schwab Corporation to set up Charles Schwab Trust Bank in Henderson, Nevada, noting that Schwab has been sued by its own employees, about 401k plans. See, e.g., Severson v. Charles Schwab Corp. , N.D. Cal., No. 3:17-cv-00285-JCS, complaint filed 1/19/17. It is also noteworthy that, Inner City Press wrote to the Fed, despite the issues there, Schwab reportedly held merger talks with SoFi earlier this year. Now the Federal Reserve has written to Schwab, on January 24, with these three questions: "Provide a summary regarding the current status of litigation in Severson v. Charles Schwab Corp., No. 4:17-cv-00285-CW (N.D. Cal. 2017). 2. Provide the “home state” of CSC as that term is defined in section 10(e)(7)(B)(iv) of
The Federal Reserve Board last week took up the application of Huron Community Bank (“Huron Bank”), the state member bank subsidiary of Huron Community Financial Services, Inc. (“Huron Financial”), both of East Tawas, Michigan, has requested the Board’s approval under section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“Bank Merger Act”)1 to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of a branch of First Federal of Northern Michigan. Don't blame it on CRA...
Actions on 10
By Matthew R. LeeNEW YORK, January 12 – After the Federal Reserve let Goldman Sachs set up a bank, without any public comment, during the financial meltdown, today the Fed has announced it has fined Goldman Sachs Bank USA for violating the National Flood Insurance Act. But the fine is for only $90,000. Some wondered about this announcement - and then two minutes later, perhaps explaining, this: "The Federal Reserve Board on Friday announced the termination of enforcement actions related to residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing issued in 2011 and 2012 against 10 banking organizations: Ally Financial Inc.; Bank of America Corporation; CIT Group, Inc. (as successor to IMB HoldCo LLC); The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; HSBC North America Holdings, Inc.; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Morgan Stanley; The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.; SunTrust Banks, Inc.; and U.S. Bancorp." Wag the dog. In the battle for the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on January 10 US District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that Leandra English lacks a likelihood of success on the merits in removing Mick Mulvaney as acting director. Meanwhile Mulvaney is putting under “strictest review” the CFPB's fund to compensate victims of fraud. And fraud is more and more pervasive. Last week Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch filed with the Federal Reserve for evidentiary hearings on the application by Charles Schwab Corporation to set up Charles Schwab Trust Bank in Henderson, Nevada. It has been reported that this bank would “focus on Schwab’s workplace benefit plan clients, such as employers who offer 401k plans, and the intermediaries who serve them.” But Schwab has been sued by its own employees, about 401k plans. See, e.g., Severson v. Charles Schwab Corp. , N.D. Cal., No. 3:17-cv-00285-JCS, complaint filed 1/19/17 ). Schwab “larded” its own 401(k) plan with expensive and poorly performing investment funds and services that earned fees for the company at the expense of workers’ retirement savings, according to the new lawsuit, filed Jan. 19. The lawsuit also targets the performance of Schwab’s stable value fund and claims that Schwab executives allowed the plan’s trustee to profit from the unallocated plan assets it held. It is also noteworthy that, Inner City Press wrote to the Fed, despite the issues there, Schwab reportedly held merger talks with SoFi earlier this year. Fair Finance Watch has also reviewed, in Nevada, Charles Schwab Bank's lending in the Reno MSA. For home purchase loans, all of the loans were to whites (none to Latinos or African Americans), all to applicants over 120% of MSA median income. The same is true of refinance lending. On the current record, these applications should not be approved." We'll have more on this.
to watch: "The
is part of a
develop a new
align with the
apply to large
$50 billion or
more in total
$50 billion or
call with the
data. Too much
moves to relax
under his new
Fed is looking
to ease major
is not legally
is being taken
to avoid even
a conflict of
Upon his confirmation as a Board Member, Vice Chairman Quarles divested all applicable stock holdings related to Wells Fargo. However, in light of his extended family's prior sale of their interest in a bank to Wells Fargo, he has chosen to recuse himself from matters specifically involving the firm.
As a result, Vice Chairman Quarles will not vote on, or participate by decision or recommendation in, matters specifically involving Wells Fargo. He will continue to oversee the Board's supervision and regulation responsibilities as Vice Chairman for Supervision, including the development of supervisory policies and rules applicable to banking organizations generally."
The Governors and Heads of Supervision and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Thursday announced the finalization of the reforms to the "Basel III" agreement on bank capital standards. With this agreement, the Basel Committee will bring to conclusion the international reforms initiated in response to the global financial crisis.
The Basel III agreement, which was designed for internationally active banks, was introduced in 2010 and was instrumental in establishing revised minimum standards that increased both the quality and quantity of regulatory capital. The reforms finalized today are intended to improve risk sensitivity, reduce regulatory capital variability, and level the playing field among internationally active banks.
The agencies will consider how to appropriately apply these revisions to the Basel III reform package in the United States and any proposed changes based on this agreement will be made through the standard notice-and-comment rulemaking process."
So after Inner City Press' letter to the Fed, they "fixed" their online listing of mergers - but did not extend any of the flawed comment periods, nor explain...
Fair Finance Watch (and Inner City Press) has sent this to the Fed: Re: Formal request / complaint concerning FRB's failure to update its public notice of pending applications website, that it be corrected and comment periods extended
others in the
This is a formal request / complaint concerning FRB's failure to update its public notice of pending applications website, that it be corrected and comment periods extended.
As of today November 24, the Fed's online H2A https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/h2a/h2a.aspx says that it has not been updated at all since November 17 - a full week ago.
But it's worse - a search of the database today finds no application with a comment period running past November 28, putting the date at which the Fed stopped updating even further back. Please explain, correct, and extend the comment periods.
When the Fed
State - Park
Watch as "A
on the basis
South State Bank’s lending to African Americans and Hispanics, as compared to whites, in the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area (“Columbia MSA”), the
Charlotte, North Carolina MSA (“Charlotte MSA”), and the Atlanta, Georgia MSA (“Atlanta MSA”), as reflected in data reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
(“HMDA”) for 2015." Here's what FFW provided to the Fed: " In the Atlanta, Georgia MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, South State denied the applications of African Americans and Latinos 4.23 times more frequently than the applications of whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 54 home purchase loans to whites, only two to Latinos, and only ONE to an African American applicant. This is disparate. In the Colombia SC MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, South State denied the applications of African Americans 2.79 times more frequently than the applications of whites, and denied the applications of Latinos' 3.75 times more frequently than whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 179 home purchase loans to whites, only ten to African Americans and only one to a Latino applicant. This is disparate. In the Charlotte NC MSA for home purchase loans in 2015, South State denied the applications of African Americans 2.22 times more frequently than the applications of whites, and denied the applications of Latinos' 6.58 times more frequently than whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 382 home purchase loans to whites, only thirteen to African Americans and only four to Latino applicants. This is disparate, and a pattern militating for evidentiary hearings and the denial of this application." But today's Fed cares less and less about such disparities...
Jay Powell. Capitol Hill. November 28. Be there.
Powell stay in
Oct 31 it has
Shameful: Mid America Bank and Trust Company has a Needs to Improve CRA rating but was allowed to pay $5 million and get acquired by Reliable Community Bancshares. Impunity.
- Bank Mutual,
part of the
but not, it
rest of the
net income of
or 8 cents per
million, or 10
share, in the
City Press /
"This is a
period on the
impacts of the
would close or
Fair Finance Watch has reviewed applicant Associated's home purchase lending in the just-out 2016 HMDA data in the Milwaukee MSA and finds serious disparities militating for evidentiary hearings and the denial of this application. For conventional home purchase loans, Associated denied the applications of African Americans 4.16 times more frequently than those of whites; it made 807 such loans to whites and only 41 to African Americans. Even cumulating Table 4-1 loans with Table 4-2, Associated's denial rate disparity in 2016 was 3.71; it made 861 loans to whites and only 48 to African Americans. This is outrageous. On the current record, these applications should not be approved."
out to the
While there are many toxic proposed bank mergers across the USA, the proposed in-market Wisconsin combination of Associated and Bank Mutual which would close branches is our focus this week - more than 300 comments filed, with the Federal Reserve comment period open until October 11 -- fire away!
South State Corporation, to the Federal Reserve, is making excuses for its record in the Atlanta MSA, and trying to withhold obviously public information. We'll have more on this.September 18, 2017
the burden of
a term that
would have to
prove that a
likely to harm
also would add
so that single
The bill would
“Office of the
UNreal that he was portrayed as a strong regulator... "Stanley Fischer submitted his resignation Wednesday as Vice Chairman and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, effective on or around October 13, 2017. He has been a member of the Board since May 28, 2014."
Matthew R. Lee, New
By Matthew Russell Lee
South Bronx, New York, August 26 – The lack of seriousness in US bank regulation, the mechanical repeating of whatever a challanged bank says, is exemplified by the application by BancorpSouth, which Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch challenged on disparities and which settled racial redlining charges, to drop its Federal Reserve charter and evade regulation. Now ICP/FFW has timely protested that application to the FDIC: "Dear Regional Director Elmquist, Ass't Regional Director Finnegan and others at the FDIC: "This is a first timely comment opposing, requesting hearings and an extension of the comment period on BancorpSouth's cynical application to evade regulation after its redlining and settlement. Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch protested the applications of BancorpSouth to merge with Ouachita Bancshares Corporation and thereby indirectly acquire Ouachita Independent Bank, and with Central Community Corporation, and thereby indirectly acquire First State Bank Central Texas, Austin, Texas. - based on racial discrimination in lending... Now BancorpSouth makes this application, and its CEO Dan Rollins states that it wants to “alleviate... regulatory oversight,” and become the “only state-chartered bank not a part of the Federal Reserve system.” We oppose this cynical evasion, particularly by one of the few banks having settled redlining charges. Let's compare: reviewing the 2015 HMDA data released by the FFIEC, ICP examined BancorpSouth's conventional home purchase lending in the Jackson, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana and finds them troubling. In 2015 in the Jackson MS MSA for conventional home purchase loans, BancorpSouth made 346 loans to whites, only 53 to African Americans. BancorpSouth's denial rate for whites was 7% while for African Americans it was 19% -- 2.71 times higher. This was troubling. In 2015 in the Baton Rouge LA MSA for conventional home purchase loans, BancorpSouth made 47 such loans to whites and NONE to African Americans, even less than the three it made in 2012. BancorpSouth has grown more disparate. ICP is requesting evidentiary hearings and that this proposed acquisition, on the current record, not be approved. There is no public benefit."
City Press /
filed this: This
is a timely
period on the
Fair Finance Watch has reviewed applicant South State's home purchase lending in three MSAs in three states - its heardquarters in Colombia SC, the targets Charlotte NC, and Atlanta GA - and finds serious disparities militating for evidentiary hearings and the denial of this application.
And, significantly, the specifics of which branches would be closed have not been publicized.
In the Atlanta, Georgia MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, South State denied the applications of African Americans and Latinos 4.23 times more frequently than the applications of whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 54 home purchase loans to whites, only two to Latinos, and only ONE to an African American applicant. This is disparate.
In the Colombia SC MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, South State denied the applications of African Americans 2.79 times more frequently than the applications of whites, and denied the applications of Latinos' 3.75 times more frequently than whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 179 home purchase loans to whites, only ten to African Americans and only one to a Latino applicant. This is disparate.
In the Charlotte NC MSA for home purchase loans in 2015, South State denied the applications of African Americans 2.22 times more frequently than the applications of whites, and denied the applications of Latinos' 6.58 times more frequently than whites. Its lending did not reflect the market or other lenders: 382 home purchase loans to whites, only thirteen to African Americans and only four to Latino applicants. This is disparate, and a pattern militating for evidentiary hearings and the denial of this application.
Meanwhile, see http://www.gastongazette.com/news/20170728/park-sterling-bank-head-says-merger-will-bring-little-fallout-for-gaston-employees: “employees in any branch that closes or is affected might have to relocate to keep their job, to places, for example, such as Charleston, South Carolina... Since last year, Park Sterling had been carrying out a local expansion that involved consolidating back-office operations and bringing jobs from South Carolina to Gastonia. Cherry said their branches on Main Avenue and South New Hope Road have seen the effects of that, and one of the decisions essentially made prior to the announced merger was to close the Main Avenue branch. 'It has limited hours and is really just handling commercial customers,' said Cherry. 'That was likely going to be closed as a result of our moves beforehand.'” South State should be asked for information and criteria about the closings and the comment period must be extended to allow entry of this information into the record and to allow comment thereon.
On the current record, hearings should be held and the application(s) should not be approved. The comment period must be extended.
August 14, 2017
the buck? "A
for boards of
for boards and
Press / Fair
"This is a
period on the
Bank and lst
These transaction raises troubling Community Reinvestment Act issues. Sandy Spring has a disparate lending record, as does WashingtonFirst.
And, significantly, the specifics of which branches would be closed have not been made public, see below. The comment period must be extended.
In the Baltimore MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, Sandy Spring denied the applications of African Americans TWENTY TWO times more frequently than the applications of whites. For refinance loans in the Washington MSA, Sandy Spring denied the applications of African Americans 8.8 times more frequently than the applications of whites. In the Washington DC MSA in 2015 for home purchase loans, Sandy Spring denied the applications of African Americans 2.8 times more frequently than the applications of whites.
In the Washington DC MSA for home purchase loans in 2015, WashingtonFirst made 13 loans to whites and NONE to African Americans or Latinos (there were similar zeroes for people of people for home improvement loans).
Meanwhile, see http://wtop.com/business-finance/2017/05/sandy-spring-buying-washingtonfirst-becoming-largest-locally-based-community-bank/: “Sandy Spring said there will be branch closings as part of the merger, though it says it is too soon to determine where overlap will require closings.” That is not acceptable: Sandy Springs should be asked for information and criteria about the closings and the comment period must be extended to allow entry of this information into the record and to allow comment thereon."
Matter" July 21, on
Matthew R. Lee, Full Doc on Patreon Here
YORK, July 28 – Two months after Inner City
Capital One failing in its proposal to acquire
Cabela's "World's Foremost Bank," a way to try
to avoid the regulators and Capital One's
Community Reinvestment Act record emerged. The
scam involves Synovus buying the bank then
passing one the credit card receivables to
Capital One, while keeping the deposits, so
Capital One wouldn't be reviewed under CRA. The
Fair Finance Watch has now opposed this, in a
filing to the Federal Reserve, below. And now
the Federal Reserve has, with all formality,
informed Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press
of a July 21 meeting with Synovus, to discuss a
"confidential supervisory matter," Fed "memo to
file, on Patreon here.
July 27, 2017
From: Federal Reserve staff
Subject: Telephone Conversation with Clifford S. Stanford, Esq. and Synovus Bank Representatives re: Application by Synovus
Bank to Acquire Substantially All of the Assets and Liabilities of World’s Foremost Bank
July 21, 2017, staff of the Board of Governors
of the Federal Reserve System (Alison Thro, Jon
Stoloff, Andrew Hartlage, Brian Phillips, Betsy
HowesBean, and Donald Arrington) and the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Jordan Light, Juan
Sanchez, Sabrina Francis, Dwight Blackwood,
Steve Wise, and
Kathryn Hinton) had a telephone conversation with representatives of Synovus Bank (Kessel Stelling, Kevin Blair, Mary Maurice Young, and
Allan E. Kamensky), Columbus, Georgia, and Clifford S. Stanford and Mark Kanaly, counsel for Synovus Bank, in connection with the application filed by Synovus Bank to acquire substantially all of assets and liabilities of
World’s Foremost Bank, Sidney, Nebraska, pursuant to section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.
Staff discussed a confidential supervisory matter with Mr. Stanford and the Synovus Bank representatives." See here.
Fed & OCC
In Senate July
Matthew R. Lee, New
Matthew R. Lee, New
Under FOIA Fed
Most of 400
Matthew R. Lee, New
NEW YORK, July 8 – Sterling Bank, which is applying for approvals to acquire Astoria Bank, is known by its regulators to have filed unreliable Community Reinvestment Act data from at least 2014 through 2016, a document obtained by Inner City Press shows. The story, and outrage, was picked up by the American Banker newspaper here, by Paul Davis and Allison Prang, crediting Inner City Press - and Sterling Bank had no comment. Inner City Press immediately on May 13 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Federal Reserve. The Fed repeatedly extended its time to respond then finally on July 7 provided more than 400 pages - almost entirely redacted. All references to the unreliable CRA data (and needs to improve rating) have been redacted. Sample here; the rest on Patreon, here. Inner City Press immediately submitted a FOIA appeal: "Amazingly, despite taking seven weeks to respond to ICP's immediate FOIA request, all information about this consumer compliance / CRA issue has been redacted from the records produced. CRA and CRA data are presumptively of public interest and public impact. The redacted response implies that the public could be entirely excluded from the FRS' review of this important CRA issues. It is unacceptable and inconsistent with the purpose, spirit and letter of FOIA. ICP is hereby appealing each and every redaction in the records belated provided to ICP on July 7. This should be ruled on before the comment period closed; the comment period should be extended." Watch this site.
By Matthew R.
NEW YORK, July 1 – Sterling Bank, which is applying for approvals to acquire Astoria Bank, is known by its regulators to have filed unreliable Community Reinvestment Act data from at least 2014 through 2016, a documentobtained by Inner City Press shows. The story, and outrage, has been picked up by the American Banker newspaper here, by Paul Davis and Allison Prang, crediting Inner City Press - and Sterling Bank had no comment. Instead, Sterling's outside counsel Wachtel Lipton chose to snail-mail its response to the wrong address, and not e-mail it to Fair Finance Watch. Via here, with envelope re-submitted to Fed and OCC. Now another snail-mailed response from Sterling's Wachtel, which we've put online here on Patreon: "Please see Exhibit 1 and Confidential Exhibit C" -- Inner City Press has now requested it under FOIA, but the agencies have already repeatedly extended their time. This is a scam. But crucially, even Wachtel says "Sterling did receive a Needs to Improve rating for the State of New York in Sterling Bank's most recent CRA Performance Evaluation dated January 18, 2017." We'll have more on this - the application must be denied. The OCC has now put up a roadblock to releasing the records Inner City Press has requested under the Freedom of Information Act, writing: "The purpose of this letter is to seek additional information pertaining to your recent request for information from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Your request dated May 13, 2017 was received in my office on May 15, 2017. You requested any and all records related to Sterling Bank's application(s) to acquire Astoria and Sterling Bank's CRA data. Upon further review, we determined that we need clarification on the date range for search of Sterling Bank’s CRA data. If I have not received this information by COB June 19th I will assume that you no longer seek this information and consider your request closed." Inner City Press has responded: " In response to Inner City Press' now month-old FOIA request concerning the CRA data the OCC knew and knows to be unreliable, you have asked that by June 19 ICP specify the date range for the request. While not understanding the OCC's delay in requesting this, we hereby timely specify that the date range is from three years ago to the date of your response. Please confirm receipt of this (including explaining your letter since you wrote “we need clarification on the date range for search”) and please provide the records as