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Sept 24, 2013

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Brookline Bank Bid To Bring Disparities To NY By Buying PCSB Bank Rubber Stamped by Fed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SOUTH BRONX, Dec 15 –  New York and Massachusetts are portrayed as diverse and progressive places. But their banks, not so much. 

 Consider for example the proposed and today FRB approved merger between Brookline Bank in Massachusetts and PCSB Bank in New York, with branches in Mount Vernon, Eastchester and elsewhere.  

The Federal Reserve, while withholding beyond the comment period even the public portion of the application involving Lakeland Bank, with settled lending discrimination charges recently with DOJ, on December 15 rubber stamped Brookline's application, with this line: "The commenter objected to the proposal, alleging that in 2021, Brookline Bank made fewer home loans to African American individuals as compared to white individuals." They don't name the commenter - Inner City Press / FFW.

Bronx-based Inner City Press has long exposed redlining. Along with Fair Finance Watch it finds that in 2020, the most recent year for which Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data is publicly available, PCSB Bank in New York State made 79 loans to whites - and only seven to African America. The dollar volume difference is even worse, a twenty to one disparity.  

So what is the lending record in Massachusetts of Brookline Bank, the proposed acquirer of PCSB?

Well, Brookline Bank in 2020 made 456 loans to whites and only FOUR to African Americans. Meanwhile it denied fully 11 applications from African Americans, and only 93 from whites.  

This is a proposed merger that should and will be challenged under the Community Reinvestment Act to the regulators. In fact, if the regulators mean what they claim, this application should not even be filed. Watch this site.


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