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After Investors Bank Hit With FDIC Conditions, CRA Protest To BankPlus - First Bank and Trust

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

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, Nov 13 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will be again enforced until the new Administration and its regulators is an open question. And now for the FDIC, BankPlus' application to acquire First Bank and Trust will be a litmus test.

On November 12, Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press filed with the FDIC:

"This is a first timely comment opposing, requesting hearings and an extension of the comment period on the applications by BankPlus to acquire First Bank and Trust  As an initial matter, this is a request that the FDIC immediately send by email to Inner City Press all non-exempt portions of the applications / notices for which the Applicants have requested confidential treatment.

Fair Finance Watch has been tracking BankPlus:

The applicant BankPlus 2020 in Mississippi based on its disparate marketing made 1918 mortgage loans to whites, with 198 denials to whites -- while making only 211 loans to African Americans, with 80 denials. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and other lenders, in Mississippi - this is outrageous. This is a pattern.

BankPlus in 2020 in Alabama based on its disparate marketing made 71 mortgage loans to whites, with four denials to whites -- while making NO loans to African Americans. 

  Perhaps most relevant, BankPlus is disparate in the state it is trying to make this acquisition to impose and expand its practices. South State Bank NA in 2020 in Louisiana based on its disparate marketing made 24 mortgage loans to whites, with eight denials to whites -- while making as in Alabama N) loans to African Americans.    FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the FDIC to rubber-stamp mergers by redliners. This has been killing the Community Reinvestment Act and we timely request public hearings."

                        fair lending enforced here

Meanwhile, the FDIC wrote:

 "Matthew Lee, Esquire Executive Director Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch  Dear Mr. Lee: We are writing to inform you that the FDIC approved Investors Bank’s application to acquire eight branches from Berkshire Bank. As part of the application review process, we investigated the issues you raised in your e-mail dated January 19, 2019... The Bank will develop and Board approve an Action Plan within 60 days of the  effective date of this Order to ensure that its home mortgage lending adequately  addresses the credit needs of all segments of its market areas. The Action Plan  should include, at a minimum, the following: a. The Bank will regularly monitor application and origination activity of home  mortgage loans in majority-minority census tracts and from Blacks throughout the  Bank’s assessment areas.  b. The Bank will ensure marketing and outreach efforts are inclusive of all communities,  including minority communities within all the Bank’s assessment areas. The  marketing and outreach efforts should focus on home mortgage product awareness.  Marketing activities should use materials and media that reflect the racial and ethnic  composition of the targeted communities. The Bank should also have specific  advertising and outreach goals, and the results of these efforts should be documented,  monitored, and evaluated for effectiveness.  5. Upon Board approval of this Order, the Bank will provide a copy of the signed Order to  the FDIC's New York Regional Office within 30 days.  6. Upon Board approval of such Action Plan, the Bank will provide a copy of the Plan  to the FDIC’s New York Regional Office. 7. The Bank will provide the FDIC’s New York Regional Office with quarterly  updates detailing its progress in meeting the goals listed in the Action Plan."   

 So what's up with the FDIC, on BankPlus' disparities?

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