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Sterling National Bank Is Sued For China Wires As Webster CRA Protest By Fair Finance Watch

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

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, July 13 – The proposed merger of Webster Financial Corp. and Sterling Bancorp has been challenged, on disparate lending and regulatory evasions, first to the Federal Reserve and  the OCC.

  On June 25, the Fed asked the banks a series of questions, below and full letter on Patreon here

  Now Inner City Press can report that, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 12, it emerged that Sterling has been sued for allowing the unauthorized wiring to China and Singapore of $12 million in funds from NJ-based contractor Niram. This is an adverse managerial resources factor to be raised to / acted on by the Federal Reserve, including under the new antitrust Executive Order. Watch this site.

There are also at least two lawsuits have been filed against the ill-conceived proposed merger. Will the banks settle those, while doubling down on their contempt for the Community Reinvestment Act? The lawsuits:

Elaine Wang sued Sterling and its directors, including Fernando Ferrer, for violations of the Security Exchange Act of 1934.  In short order, Alex Ciccotelli sued them as well, along with Webster. Inner City Press is following the case.

  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.

The Fed on June 25 wrote, copying Fair Finance Watch: "Respond to the public comment opposing the transaction, submitted June 3, 2021. Among  other things, the public comment generally criticizes Webster Bank’s fair lending  performance. The commenter also asserts that the CRA data of Sterling Bank is unreliable...  Please provide your written response and supporting documentation via E-Apps to  Michael Sumrell at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In addition, in accordance with the  Federal Reserve’s ex parte procedures, provide a copy of the public portion of your response  (together with any attachments) directly to the commenter." Watch this site.

  Fair Finance Watch has found even worse disparities for Webster in New York, and on June 3 filed a formal protest with the Federal Reserve in DC and Boston, and then with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The comments and FOIA request (to the Fed) have been acknowledged. But still no formal response to the charges from Webster. Maybe to game the system they have snail mailed it? Watch this site.


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