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Fair Finance Watch Protests Hanover Bank Bid On Savoy Bank As Bronx and Brooklyn Harmed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX, NY, Dec 5 – Even amid the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. banks keeps seeking to merge and expand, with less and less oversight.   Fair Finance Watch, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, has filed a Community Reinvestment Act protest:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Attn: Frank Hughes, Regional Director and Robert P. Cordeiro, Scott D. Strockoz 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1200 New York, NY 10118-0110   Re: Timely First Comment on Applications by Hanover to acquire Savoy Bank.  Dear Regional Director Vogel and others at the FDIC: 

 This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the FDIC's public comment period on the Applications by Hanover to acquire Savoy Bank.   

   The applicant Hanover in the New York in 2019 made 67 home loans to whites and only THREE to African Americans. Note that Hanover's CRA assessment area includes The Bronx, and Brooklyn. 

  Hearings are requested on that; they may also touch on the financing of the proposed deal: "“We are pleased to announce the successful completion of our subordinated debt offering,” said Michael Puorro, Hanover’s Chairman and CEO. “This offering is directly aligned with Hanover’s strategic plan of high growth and high profitability, which continues to create significant shareholder value. The proceeds from this transaction provide us with the necessary capital to finance our recently announced partnership with Savoy Bank, as well as the ability to continue to compete in an exciting marketplace and to execute upon our longer-term strategic goals.”  Stephens Inc. acted as lead placement agent for the offering, with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. acting as co-placement agent. Windels Marx served as legal counsel to Hanover and Covington & Burling LLP served as legal counsel for the placement agents." 

The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved  From the FDIC: Matthew R. Lee, Esq. Fair Finance Watch P.O. Box 20047 New York, New York 10017 Dear Mr. Lee:  We received your e-mail dated November 28, 2020, concerning Hanover Community Bank’s applications to acquire Savoy Bank. We reviewed your correspondence in accordance with the guidelines of 12 C.F.R. Section 303.2(c) and 303.2(l), and consider it a protest for the purpose of the applications. We forwarded your comments to the applicant

That is,

 Michael P. Puorro Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hanover Community Bank 2131 Jericho Turnpike Garden City Park, New York 11040 Subject: Community Reinvestment Act Protest and the Removal of Application from Expedited Processing for Interagency Bank Merger Act Applications to acquire/merge with Savoy Bank, New York, New York Applications Tracking No. 20201214 and 20201215 Dear Mr. Puorro:  We are writing in reference to the enclosed e-mail correspondence that we received from Matthew R. Lee of Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch, concerning your institution’s applications to acquire Savoy Bank. We reviewed the e-mail correspondence in accordance with the guidelines of 12 C.F.R. Section 303, and deemed it a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) protest for the purpose of the applications. The subject e-mail raises issues regarding the bank’s record of lending to African American persons. The anticipated time and research required to investigate these issues has necessitated the removal of your applications from expedited processing.  You may provide a written response on the protest to me within ten business days after the date of this letter, in accordance with 12 C.F.R. Section 303


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