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As BMO Harris Applies For Bank of the West Now Virtual Public Meeting July 14 Disparities

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

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, May 17 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will actually be enforced until the new Administration and its regulators remains an open question. 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 Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced a joint public meeting on the proposal by Bank of Montreal, Montreal, Canada, and BMO Harris Bank National Association, Chicago, Illinois, to acquire BancWest Holding Inc. and Bank of the West, both of San Francisco, California.  The purpose of the public meeting is to collect information from a wide range of stakeholders as the agencies evaluate the proposed applications. By law, the agencies are required to evaluate:  the convenience and needs of the communities to be served by the combined organization; the insured depository institutions’ performance under the Community Reinvestment Act; competition in the relevant markets; the effects of the proposal on the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system; the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the companies and banks involved in the proposal; and the effectiveness of the companies and banks in combatting money laundering activities. 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. Further information and requirements to present, as well as information to register to view the public meeting, are available in the attachment from the agencies.  Also today, to give interested parties additional time to comment, the agencies announced that they are extending the public comment period for the applications to the Board and OCC that are associated with the proposal. Comments on the applications will now be accepted through July 19, 2022."


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


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