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Sept 24, 2013

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After Federal Reserve Talked 1-Way on CRA No Live Qs FRBNY Provide Off Record Reply

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

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, July 19 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will actually be enforced under the new Administration and its regulators remains an open question. But no live questions were taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York when it talked, one-way, about the CRA this month.

"This virtual event is intended for banks, consumer and community organizations, CRA stakeholders, and the general public. Selected questions submitted upon registration will be addressed during the event. There will not be live questions."

  Inner City Press asked them, "Why was it decided by the FRBNY that "there will be no live questions"? Who decided it?"

  On July 12, after the event, a "Corporate Communication Associate" at the FRBNY who demanded to not be named emailed back an answer labeled "off the record." Is this any way for a public institution to respond? Except, the Federal Reserve Banks are NOT public institution. Then why do they have a role in setting policy (like CRA) and approving bank mergers? We'll have more on this. And this:

The CFPB, Inner City Press has learned, has a policy of automatically closing complaints that name more than one institution, claiming that they can (or will) only forward the complaint to a single institution. This makes little sense on, for example, a wire transfer. But the CFPB Press office has yet to explain, so a FOIA request has been submitted. Watch this site.

 Back in December Inner City Press reported that BMO Harris' application to buy Bank of the West and its more than 500 branches from BNP would be a litmus test.

 Fair Finance Watch noted, from Day 1, that in 2020 BMO Harris denied many more mortgage applications from African Americans than it approved: 509 denied versus only 223 loans made to African Americans, nationwide. BMO's numbers for whites were the reverse: 9270 loans made, versus less then six thousand denials.

On May 17 the Federal Reserve and OCC announced that they will at least hold a public meeting: The public meeting will be held virtually on July 14, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Members of the public seeking to present oral comments must register by 12:00 p.m. EDT on June 23, 2022, through the online registration webpage."

  Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch visited the page on June 20, Juneteenth (Observed), in order to register - and found the Fed's "we want to know your views" - in 200 characters. Is that enough? Fair Finance Watch entered: "Concerns: BMO Harris HMDA disparities (nationside in 2020 only 223 mortgages to African Americans, vs. 9270 to whites), its destruction of evidence in a MN bankruptcy case;  BNP's activities in Russia." 

  Next came a series of Federal Reserve emails that went into spam, then a threat that if one didn't appear on screen for the Fed in one of four one-hour windows (three remaining) you couldn't testify. You had to ask to get the WebEx link. Inner City Press signed up - then came, at the same time, an FBI press conference about crypto fraud OneCoin, on which the Fed told Inner City Press under FOIA it has not a single document. Really?

 The penultimate slot conflicts with a press conference by the incoming president of the UN Security Council for July, Brazil. And July 5? The irony was, Inner City Press did this same sign up for the US Bancorp - MUFG public meeting. Why have to do it again?

We testified, and commented again in writing by the July 19 deadline. We'll have more on this- watch this site.


 Inner City Press (and Fair Finance Watch, on the HMDA) will have more to say about this. Watch this site.


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