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Sept 24, 2013

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NBT Bank Bid To Combines Its Disparities With Salisbury Is a CRA Litmus Test for the OCC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SOUTH BRONX, Feb 24 –  New York and Connecticut are portrayed as diverse and progressive places. But their banks, not so much. 

 Consider for example the proposed merger between New York-based NBT Bank NA and Salisbury Bank & Trust with branches in Connecticut and New York, where it is closing one in Poughkeepsie. 

New York-based Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch have long exposed redlining - and in this vein, on February 24 they filed a Community Reinvestment Act challenge with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:

This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the OCC's public comment period on the Applications by NBT Bank NA to acquire Salisbury Bank & Trust.       The applicant NBT Bank NA in 2021 based on its disparate marketing made 1813 mortgage loans to whites, with 666 denials to whites -- while making only TWENTY THREE loans to African Americans, with fully 21 denials. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and others lenders, in NYS and beyond - this is outrageous.    NBT is in fact worse in New York State, where in 2021 it made 1332 mortgage loans to whites, with 508 denials to whites -- while making only 12 loans to African Americans, with fully 18 denials. This is even more outrageous.     A combination with Salisbury would be toxic. In Connecticut in 2021, Salisburn made 125 mortgage loans to whites with 7 denied - and NO loans to African Americans. Notably, in preparation for this proposed transction, Salisbury is engage in branch closing: SALISBURY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY 5 Bissell Street, Lakeville, CT 06039  Notice of intention to close branch office at 2064 New Hackensack Road, Town of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York 12603    There is no public benefit to this proposal.     FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the OCC's penchant to rubberstamp mergers by redliners, contrary to its rhetoric. We timely request public hearings.

If the regulators at the OCC mean what they claim, this application should be denied. Watch this site.


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