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Fed Qs on Protested Webster Merger As Sterling National Bank Is Sued SDNY For China Wires

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

SOUTH BRONX / SDNY, Nov 5 – 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 on November 5, it was sent a copy of the Federal Reserve's additional letter to Webster and its (ex-Fed) outside counsel: "November 5, 2021 Dear Ms. Patricia A. Robinson, This letter refers to the application filed by Webster Financial Corporation, Waterbury, Connecticut (“Webster”), for the prior approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal  Reserve System (the “Board”), to acquire Sterling Bancorp (“Sterling”), and thereby indirectly  acquire Sterling National Bank. Based on staff’s review of the current record, the following additional information is requested.  Please provide your responses to the items listed below. Supporting documentation should be  provided as appropriate.

1. You have indicated that Sterling Bank and Webster Bank do not have any current plans  to consolidate, relocate or close any branches before consummation of, or otherwise  unrelated to, the proposed transaction. Confirm if that is still the case and confirm that  any anticipated branch closures, consolidations, or relocations that may occur following  the merger will be conducted in a manner consistent with Webster Bank’s branch closing  policies and procedures and the branch closing requirements contained in section 42 of  the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. § 1831r-1). If not, discuss why not. Your  response should include a copy of any applicable policies and procedures, to the extent  not already provided.

2. Provide an updated version of the application’s Confidential Exhibit C ‘Balance Sheets,  Income Statements, Regulatory Capital and Asset Quality’. The statements and  information provided should be as of September 30, 2021. 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.
 cc: Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch"

 Also 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 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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