CFPB, DOJ, and OCC Reach Settlement with Bank for Alleged Lending Discrimination

On October 22, 2021, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced ​that the CFPB, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) collectively reached a joint settlement with a national bank that resolved allegations of mortgage lending discrimination in the Memphis metropolitan area in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601–3619, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1691–1691f, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA), 12 U.S.C. § 5536(a)(1)(A).

According to the agencies’ complaint, the bank allegedly engaged in unlawful redlining “by structuring its business and outreach efforts so as to avoid the credit needs of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in its residential mortgage lending.”  Specifically, the agencies alleged that the bank’s redlining practices included maintaining nearly all bank branch locations and mortgage loan officers in majority-white neighborhoods, failing to monitor its fair lending compliance, and discouraging actual and prospective loan applicants in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Under the terms of the consent order, the bank will invest $3.85 million into a loan subsidy fund for Memphis-area minority borrowers, spend at least $600,000 on minority community outreach and education efforts, and pay a civil penalty of $5 million.  The bank also agreed to take remedial steps to monitor and improve its fair lending compliance.  As part of this settlement, the bank neither admits nor denies the allegations in the complaint.  ​