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CRA Challenge to Gaming MVB Bank Bid For Redlining Hemp Lending West Town Bank

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
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SOUTH BRONX NY, Oct 25 –   Amid the focus on big mergers like Bank of Montreal Harris - BNP Paribas and the stalled Flagstar / NYCB, there are other also dubious smaller merger proposals.

Fair Finance Watch is on the lookout, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, and just filed this:

Dear Chair Powell, Secretary Misback and others in the FRS:    This is a request for a full copy of, and a timely first comment on, the Applications of MVB Financial Corp., Fairmont, West Virginia; to acquire Integrated Financial Holdings, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina, and thereby indirectly acquire West Town Bank & Trust, North Riverside, Illinois, and acquire voting shares of West Town Payments, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina, "and more." 

Fair Finance Watch has been reviewing West Town Bank including its 2021 HMDA data not taken into account in any CRA exam and finds it troubling. FFW in looking into MVB Bank find its offers of banking for gaming, but for CRA questions, not even an email address, only a snail mail address. This is not a best practice, far from it. 

   In terms of HMDA data, in 2021, West Town Bank made 319 mortgage loans to whites with seven denials. Meanwhile to African Americans it made only TWENTY FIVE loans, while denying five applications. A referral should be made to the DOJ for fair lending violations.     MVB, proposing to buy West Town Bank including its hemp lending, is engaged in gaming lending, fintechs - but has not put its CRA file online or even available by emailing.     Public evidentiary hearings are needed.    

  FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the Federal Reserve to rubber-stamp smaller mergers by these sized redliners. This has been killing the Community Reinvestment Act and we timely request public hearings.  The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved.  

The Fed, through the FRB of Richmond, has replied: "October 25, 2022 Mr. Matthew Lee, Esq. Executive Director Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch  Dear Mr. Lee: This is to acknowledge receipt of your comment letter with respect to the applications by MVB Financial Corp

Copies of your comments on the applications have been forwarded to MVB Financial Corp., the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the U.S. Department of Justice. MVB Financial Corp. has been instructed to forward you a copy of any response which it may make to your comment.

 Sincerely, Brent B. Hassell Assistant Vice President Enclosures cc: Board of Governors Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation U.S. Department of Justice  


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