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PA Merger Partner FNCB Admits Disparities As Link Was Hit by Fair Finance Watch Now Plan

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SOUTH BRONX, Dec 1 –  Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia are portrayed as diverse and ever progressive places. But their banks, not so much. 

 Consider for example the merger on the rebound between New York-based Link Bank and Partners Bancorp, which recently broke off its proposed deal with OceanFirst.

Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch have long exposed redlining - and in this vein, on May 6 they filed a Community Reinvestment Act challenge with the FDIC and Federal Reserve.

 In October, the FDIC required from LINKBANK a plan to improve its lending to African Americans, which Inner City Press has published on its DocumentCloud here.

On November 10, Fair Finance Watch commented on an even more disparate combination, Peoples Security Bank and Trust Company bid to acquire and merge with FNCB Bank, noting that on Pennsylvania in 2022, Peoples Security Bank and Trust Company made 532 HMDA-reported loans to whites - and only FOUR to African Americans, while denying five applications.   FNCB Bank in Pennsylvania in 2022 made 247 HMDA-reported loans to whites - and only ONE to an African Americans, while denying three applications. A referral should be made to the DOJ for fair lending violations.

  Now the banks have admitted to the FDIC: "FNCB Bank’s preliminary HMDA data from the first three quarters of 2023 reveals a significant decrease in loan volume due to an unexpected and unplanned change in FNCB Bank’s mortgage processing system. In early 2022, FNCB Bank partnered with a third party, Promontory MortgagePath (“PMP”), to provide mortgage fulfillment services. However, in October 2022, PMP  Deputy Regional Director Scott D. Strockoz Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation December 1, 2023 Page 6  unexpectedly announced closure of the company due to the unprecedented and rapid deterioration of the mortgage market. PMP did not provide FNCB Bank with advance notice of its decision. In order to continue to serve the needs of its communities during 2023, FNCB Bank brokered residential mortgage loan applications to a third-party lender pending the establishment of a new processing system. Consequently, FNCB Bank recorded a total of 42 brokered loan applications through September 30, 2023, which resulted in 32 loans originated by its third-party lender partner. Because these brokered loans were not closed in FNCB Bank’s name, the loans are not included in FNCB Bank’s 2023 HMDA data. Accordingly, a review of FNCB Bank’s preliminary 2023 HMDA data will indicate that it did not meet 2022 peer benchmarks for loan originations in MMCTs and loan applications generated in LMI tracts when reviewed in FNCB Bank’s assessment areas (which, for peer comparison, includes only those institutions in its assessment area with an application volume between 50% and 200% of FNCB Bank’s). Due to PMP’s withdrawal from its partnership with FNCB Bank, the following trends are evident based on a total of 45 mortgage applications and 33 originations reported by FNCB Bank as HMDA loans during this period: • Applications from MMCTs were 2.22% of total applications. • Majority-Minority loan originations were 0%." Zero. Watch this site.

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


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