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CRA Challenge to Atlantic Union - American National Proposed Merger on Loan Disparities

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SOUTH BRONX NY, Sept 23 –  Two of 2023's largest US proposed bank mergers were announced this summer: Atlantic Union applying to buy Atlantic National in Virginia, and Banc of California to buy PacWest.    Fair Finance Watch had been monitoring the banks, and on September 25 commented to the Federal Reserve on and against Atlantic Union - American National: 

Dear Chair Powell, Secretary Misback and others in the FRS:  This is a timely first comment on, the Applications of Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation to acquire American National Bankshares.

  Atlantic Union, in Virginia in 2022, made 2819 mortgage loans to whites, and only 197 to African Americans. Meanwhile it denied 159 applications from African Americans, and only 944 from whites.

  This is disparate, and more disparate both than the aggregate in Virginia, and than American National Bank and Trust.

 That is to say, beyond the 2.4 denial rate disparate, American Union made fully 14 mortgage loans to whites for every loan to an African American.  Statewide in Virginia for the aggregate, the ratio was five to one. 

This is outrageous; American Union should be referred by the FRB to the Department of Justice.

 In Maryland in 2022, American Union denied the applications of African Americans 4.31 times more frequently than those of whites.

In North Carolina in 2022, American Union made 17 loans to whites for every loan to an African American. Again, this is outrageous; American Union should be referred by the FRB to the Department of Justice.    

We also note the issues in the overdraft class action that Atlantic Union settled, but on information and belief did not fully address, in 2021. See, MARTY HINTON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. ATLANTIC UNION BANK, Defendant. Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-651-JAG  (Complaint) and (Order denying Atlantic Union's motion to dismiss)  Inner City Press is requesting an extension of the public comment period, public / virtual evidentiary hearings and that, on the current record, the applications not be approved  

   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 we timely request public hearings. 

   We'll have more on this.


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