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On Brazil Land Grabs & CRA Flaws, Fed Parrots TIAA, Which Alludes To Confidential Info

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 8 – The lack of seriousness in US bank regulation, the mechanical repeating of whatever a challanged bank says, is exemplified by the Federal Reserve Board's June 7 approval of TIAA's application to acquire Everbank of Florida, which Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch on October 29, 2016 challenged. After Inner City Press' challenge, the Fed asked some questions, and TIAA defended its investments in land grabs in Brazil. On this, the Fed's approval order repeats word for word, apparently without inquiry, the bank's law firm's defense. The bank wrote: "We are grateful for this opportunity to respond to the comment letter filed by Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch on 29 October 2016 regarding the application submitted by TCT Holdings, Inc., Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (“TIAA”)... that TIAA has engaged in improper business practices in Brazil should be considered by the Federal Reserve Board as a factor when considering the managerial resources of the Applicants. The news article cited in the Comment Letter does not provide a complete or accurate portrayal of how TIAA conducts business in Brazil and other markets... TIAA is a signatory to the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment." The Fed's approval order also cites these UN "principles." On June 1, just before the approval, TIAA's law firm David Polk wrote in: You have asked us to supplement our responses to certain allegations made in protests by Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch regarding the lending practices of TIAA-CREF Trust Company, FSB (“TIAA FSB”) and EverBank.  As you are aware, we have provided substantial information in response to the allegations. We have received the following information from TIAA FSB: While the allegation of discriminatory lending focuses on the St. Louis MSA by TIAA FSB, we wish to make three important points in response. First, the allegation, using HMDA data for the St. Louis MSA, focuses on a small number of loans made in the MSA.  We do not think the small sample, when analyzed, demonstrates a pattern or practice of discrimination. Second, TIAA, FSB operates no brick and mortar branches in the St. Louis MSA.  Its participation in the MSA primarily results from the use of internet offerings as well as other broader-based channels.  To focus on the results in the St. Louis MSA where there are no physical locations does not fairly reflect the nature of TIAA, FSB’s business strategy or its overall record of non-discriminatory lending. Third, as reflected above, the TIAA FSB mortgage offerings are nationwide in scope using the internet and other broad-based distribution channels.  Focusing on a single market, regardless of its location, does not fairly reflect or represent TIAA FSB’s business strategy or its overall record. On May 25, 2017, TIAA FSB received the results from its Fair Lending Examination by the OCC.  While the results of that examination constitute confidential supervisory information, it would be useful for the Federal Reserve to obtain a copy of the results of the examination.  If you wish, TIAA FSB would be pleased to seek approval to share the results of the examination with you." How cozy. We'll have more on this.

After ICP Challenges TIAA-Everbank, Here's TIAA's Defense to Federal Reserve of Lending Disparities, Land G... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd


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