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Protest of Predatory TAB Bank Leads to CRA Downgrade amid Hemp Lender West Town Docs

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon MVB File

SOUTH BRONX NY, Feb 3 – Alongside the wrongdoing by big banks from JPMorgan Chase to KeyCorp, there are other also dubious proposed merger by smaller banks and predators.

Fair Finance Watch is on the lookout, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, and filed the sample on MVB Bank, below. On February 3, 2023 the FDIC issued a rare Needs to Improve rating under the Community Reinvestment Act to Transportation Alliance Bank d/b/a TAB Bank: "The FDIC lowered the CRA rating from “Satisfactory” to “Needs to Improve” due to an illegal credit practice present during the review period for this CRA evaluation."

 Note that "TAB has six strategic partners to offer consumer loans and credit cards: EasyPay Finance: EasyPay offers unsecured, closed-end, subprime consumer loans. Loans are originated through a network of merchants, primarily for retail products and services, such as automotive services, furniture, and pets. • Mission Lane: Mission Lane offers subprime credit card program for borrowers working to rebuild credit. • Snap Finance, Sunbit, FlexLending (new): FlexLending offers POS, closed-end loans to consumers purchasing tires. FlexLending also recently began offering a new direct-to-consumer loan program. • Integra (new): Integra offers unsecured, closed-end, subprime consumer loans." #PredatoryBedner. We'll have more on this. And on this, which we filed:

Dear Chair Powell, Secretary Misback and others in the FRS:    This is a request for a full copy of, and a timely first comment on, the Applications of MVB Financial Corp., Fairmont, West Virginia; to acquire Integrated Financial Holdings, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina, and thereby indirectly acquire West Town Bank & Trust, North Riverside, Illinois, and acquire voting shares of West Town Payments, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina, "and more." 

Fair Finance Watch has been reviewing West Town Bank including its 2021 HMDA data not taken into account in any CRA exam and finds it troubling. FFW in looking into MVB Bank find its offers of banking for gaming, but for CRA questions, not even an email address, only a snail mail address. This is not a best practice, far from it. 

   In terms of HMDA data, in 2021, West Town Bank made 319 mortgage loans to whites with seven denials. Meanwhile to African Americans it made only TWENTY FIVE loans, while denying five applications. A referral should be made to the DOJ for fair lending violations.     MVB, proposing to buy West Town Bank including its hemp lending, is engaged in gaming lending, fintechs - but has not put its CRA file online or even available by emailing."

  Since filing, MVB provided Fair Finance Watch with what it calls its 271-page CRA file (for some reason, only "as of April 2022") which we've put on DocumentCloud here to make it public as all CRA files should be, and the Fed has provided portions of the application, including that target "IFHI owns a 30.5% interest in VeriLeaf, Inc., a Delaware corporation with its main office in Austin, Texas, which is a start-up company that provides automated software solutions and related compliance and risk management services to assist banks with enhanced due diligence needed for higher-risk customer bases, such as hemp businesses." Watch this site.


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