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Amid Attack on CRA FirstSun HomeStreet Bid Hit on Lending Disparities Now Charter Switch

by Matthew Russell Lee

SOUTH BRONX, May 8 – As US bank regulators talk about working to increase the fairness of the financial system, and closely scrutinizing mergers and the spread of bad practices, banks continue to assume they can combine.

  Before the Capital One - Discover proposal, and ABA lawsuit against the Community Reinvestment Act regulation, there was  FirstSun Capital Bancorp of Denver and Dallas saying it will merge with Homestreet, Inc. and Homestreet Bank of Seattle, Washington. 

  On February 23 Fair Finance Watch with Inner City Press on the FOIA filed a protest: "FirstSun's flagship Sunflower Bank, in Texas in 2022, made 694 mortgage loans to whites, and only 41 to African Americans. Meanwhile it denied 12 applications from African Americans, and only 34 from whites.   This is disparate, and more disparate both than the aggregate in Texas. 

    Nationwide in 2022, Sunflower Bank made 3059 mortgage loans to whites, and only 194 to African Americans. Meanwhile it denied 49 applications from African Americans, and only 259 from whites. 

   For the record, on managerial resources and otherwise, note that on September 27, 2023, FirstSun Capital Bancorp, the parent company of Sunflower Bank, Guardian Mortgage and First National 1870 (collectively, “Sunflower”), filed a notice of data breach with the Attorney General of California... an unauthorized party likely took advantage of the flaw in the MOVEit software and downloaded copies of files [containing] personally identifiable information."

  Now FirstSun is simply changing charters to try to get fast approval: FirstSun Capital Bancorp will switch to a Texas state charter rather than a national one as it continues to pursue its acquisition of HomeStreet, the bank announced last week: “In our discussions with the OCC in Washington, it became obvious that we would not gain near-term approval." What a scam.

     FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the Federal Reserve to rubber-stamp mergers by redliners, money launderers and predatory lenders. This has been killing the Community Reinvestment Act and so a timely request public hearings.



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