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Webster Proposed Merger With Sterling Will Be Challenged Based on Disparities, Weak PPP Lending

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - CJR - PFT

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, April 20– The proposed merger of Webster Financial Corp. and Sterling Bancorp will be challenged, on disparate lending and regulatory evasions.

  Fair Finance Watch has found that in 2019 in its home state of Connecticut, Webster National Bank made 3147 mortgage loans to whites, with 1364 denial to whites - while making only 71 loans to African Americans with fully 99 denials to African American. This is significantly worse than other banks in the state; the merger must be denied.

   Among the comments on the Community Reinvestment Act submitted to the Federal Reserve recently  is one from Webster Bank, arguing that Health Savings Account "deposits should not be considered when determining whether the requirement would apply or when delineating such assessment areas" and should be excluded from the definition of "retail domestic deposits."Consequently, HSAs should also be excluded from  Community Development Financing Metric.

This is scam. 

  Back on May 2, 2020 Fair Finance Watch, and Inner City Press on FOIA, filed a formal challenge with Otting's OCC to the application by Webster Bank to acquire State Farm Bank FSB, its problematic health savings accounts, no less.

   Webster has also under performed in PPP lending:  "the head of Waterbury-based Webster Bank admitted his company can improve its performance in getting money into the hands of loan applicants.  “Certainly we wanted to help every small business borrower and customer of Webster that we could,” said CEO John Ciulla, speaking Tuesday on a conference call. “We got through approximately 30 percent applications approved (and) 30 percent funded, plus or minus a few percentage points on both sides of that." On the CRA comments to the Fed, see NCRC's dashboard, here.

  Sterling has other issues, which Inner City Press previously documented to the OCC leading to delay. What will the still-delayed new Comptroller of the Currency do? Watch this site.


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